As we are getting closer to the end of August, it also means that we’re getting closer to Windows 8.1 RTM, the final version of the OS that PC makers will receive to install in new systems.
Today the word on the street is that Microsoft has already compiled this final version of the operating system. Why do we think that? Well, we know that the final bits will start with 9600, and today in a new Tweet from Paul Thurrott, a Microsoft watcher for a long time, reads 9600.16384.130821-1623, which could indicate the possibility that this is the RTM version that OEMs will receive.
The information also led me to Betawiki.net, which is a website that tracks beta versions of software, and Paul’s Tweet shows up as confirmed build compiled on August 21st. There is a higher build number that reads 6.3.9600.16384.winblue_rtm.130822-2140 which suggests that there is a newer compiled build on August 22th, but the information cannot be confirmed.
This is happening just days after we got knowledge of Windows 8.1 build 9471, which gave as a glances of what is to come in the upcoming yearly update of the operating system.
There is also a chance that the software giant might have to re-compile the bits once more to fix some bugs, but the only thing that will change is the final digits.
So far everything points that Microsoft still on track to release Windows 8.1 by October 18th. Current Windows 8 users will be able to download and install the final bits one day earlier, on the 17th via the Windows Store.
Update: A new leak email to OEM resellers and system builders reveals that OEM Distributors will start shipping Windows 8.1 inventory to them a lot sooner than the official release date (Oct. 18). Although, this is a good sign, this doesn’t mean we will see people buying a new computer loaded with the new version of the operating system before general availability. This new information further confirms that the company is pretty much done coding 8.1 and that OEMs will have the bits on time to be ready for launch date.
Update: Now I can say it’s official, unnamed sources have told The Verge that Microsoft has signed off Windows 8.1 RTM (build 9600). The company will announced the news sometime next week and probably we’ll also get a hint to when OEMs will start getting the bits. So the countdown begins…