Update: Windows 8 did indeed RTM on 1st August, but MSDN/TechNet subscribers will get Windows 8 on 15th August - not 1st September as this post suggests. See this post for more information.
Rumours are everywhere at the moment about Windows 8, saying many different things. But it seems that Windows 8, scheduled to RTM in “the first week of August” will RTM tomorrow, 1st August. This is when Windows 8 will be completely finished and the OEMs (Dell etc.) will get copies to put on PCs ready for 26th October.
One rumour is that MSDN/TechNet subscribers (who usually get Microsoft stuff early) will be able to access Windows 8 from 1st September onwards. This is a little disappointing, especially because these people got Windows 7 days after the RTM, and there’s nothing stopping Microsoft from releasing it, say, next week. But this is a rumour, and the software giant could let the subscribers get it sooner than next month.
In RTM related news, it appears that Microsoft have added some more Start screen patterns for the final release. Throughout the 3 previews, Microsoft have added more customisation options to Windows 8. In the Developer Preview, there was basically no start screen customisation and people were stuck with green and a single pattern. I think the original idea was to have a non-customisable single (different) colour for each preview release, and options in the final release. However, people complained and in the Consumer Preview a small choice of colours and 6 patterns (including no pattern) were available. In the Release Preview, a load more colours but the same 6 patterns were available. But for the final release, Microsoft have kept the RP colours but added a load more patterns (making Windows 8 customisable enough that people won’t mind not being able to set an image as the Start screen background). Here they are, from Win8china.com:
Some of them look a little… childish to me (a little like Hotmail’s themes though these will change with the upcoming metro redesign) so I’m glad the existing themes in the Release Preview are still there, as I like my Start screen just the way it is: