Windows 8 RTM is available for developers

Two weeks ago we announced that Windows 8 released to manufacturing (RTM). Since then we’ve been preparing builds for distribution as described in the Windows 8 has reached the RTM milestone post on Windows Team blog. I’m happy to let you know that we are now ready with early access builds for developers. In this post I’ll give you some pointers on the best way to get and install the RTM build and I’ll also point you to resources you can use to get your apps up and running on Windows 8 RTM.

Getting the RTM version

Depending on what Microsoft programs you or your organization might be part of, there are a few ways to get the RTM version of Windows 8. If you have an MSDN Subscription or a TechNet Professional Subscription, the RTM is available today. For info on other programs see the Windows 8 has reached the RTM milestone post on Windows Team blog.

    If you are not part of one of these programs, don’t worry, we’re also offering a 90-day evaluation of the Windows 8 Enterprise edition for developers. This is available now from the Windows Dev Center download page along with Visual Studio Express 2012, Windows 8 design assets, code samples, and all the related tools and SDK’s you need to build apps.

    If you use the evaluation version, we recommend installing it on separate drive or partition or in a VM. This way you’ll be able to upgrade from your original OS to the Windows 8 RTM when it becomes available in October. If you don’t, then you’ll need to reinstall from scratch when you decide to move to the full version. Make sure you read all the details on the download page.

    Building apps on Windows 8 RTM

    After you’ve installed the RTM I’m sure you’ll want to get started building apps as quickly as possible. If you’re new to Windows 8 app development, head straight to the Windows Dev Center to get started building Windows 8 apps. Those of you that have been with us for a while will appreciate updates to the Dev Center available today including more detailed API docs, additional design guidance, new How to’s, and many more samples to help you in your app building. Plus, starting next week, we’ll be rolling out Dev Center content, which includes 10 new languages since Release Preview.

    If you’ve already been building apps on the Release Preview, then you’re probably wondering how to move those apps to RTM. This shouldn’t be too much work. With the Windows 8 RTM, there are a minimal number of changes that impact your apps since Release Preview. Over the last few months we’ve made some targeted fixes to fine-tune the final experience and respond to feedback, but we’ve stayed away from any sweeping changes. By and large, your apps that ran on Release Preview should only require small changes (if any) to run on Windows 8 RTM.

    To help guide you through the changes we’ve created a Migration guide. This guide walks you through the basic steps for migrating your app to the new version of Windows and it also calls out the changes that we made to the API surface so you can quickly see what, if any, updates you need to make.

    Moving forward

    I hope you are as excited about the Windows 8 RTM as we are. It won’t be long now before your apps are in the store (see the store’s recent post, RTM Windows Store is now open for paid apps, company accounts) and people are using them every day! So go ahead and download the RTM build and Visual Studio, and then use the Windows Dev Center resources and the Migration guide to build exciting apps on Windows 8. We can’t wait to see your apps!

    –Ian LeGrow, Group Program Manager, Windows

    Comments (49)

    1. epic fail says:

      too bad we can't get keys for the product, or any product keys on msdn site. It's quite broken.

    2. Student says:

      Is it coming out on Dreamspark/MSDNAA?

    3. JustMe says:

      Hi, i want to download the 90 day trial version of Windows 8 Enterprise here…/jj554510.aspx

      It's said that the en-uk version is available, but i can download only the en-us version 🙁

    4. mc says:

      cmon guys….wake up! Where is the download link for this RTM? Anyone in MS?

    5. John says:

      Why is the Windows 8 Pro retail version not online? 🙁

      That's exactly the version I need, but only the volume license versions are online, for which I can't seem to get keys.

    6. You mention that the eval version should be installed on a separate partition (or in a VM) so that it's still possible to upgrade to the RTM version later. I was wondering about using the MSDN download and how it would affect the $40 upgrade offer.

      Will it be possible to take advantage of the $40 upgrade offer if I upgrade my Win7 system to Win8 using the MSDN ISO now?

      I ask because:

      A) Any MSDN Windows 8 license isn't valid for production use. Right?

      B) The best info I can find is that we *will* be able to get the $40 price when upgrading from Win 8 RP as long as we "have an underlying license for [XP/Vista/7]", Although it is extremely unclear what that means in practice.

      I'll be happy enough even if I can dual boot a very small Win 7 partition (licensed) to run the Win 8 upgrade assistant, as long as I can then use that to license an existing Win 8 install on the other partition.

      If not then I'll need to hold-off installing Win 8 as the primary OS on my main development PC, which means it will be harder to develop Win 8 apps. 🙁

    7. mg says:


      will Windows 8 RTM be also available on Dreamspark Premium?

      Somewhere I read that it should be today, elsewhere that it will be on 25th of August.

      Can someone tell me how it is?

    8. Ron says:

      Not interested.. I want to build APPLICATIONS for windows, not APPS.. my desktop is not a TABLET!  Installed Win8 for about 8min before I was completely sick of it.. No Start Menu, no Win8 for me.. Maybe time to move to Mac, or hope Google OS is mainstream before Win7 runs its course..

    9. jader3rd says:

      But Ron, Mac doesn't have a Start Menu either.

    10. ron says:

      they have a menu bar at least.. not a full screen menu that covers my windows and block graphics like something from my commodore vic 20

    11. Kev says:

      Ron, your 'start menu' is there via Win+X (Power Users Panel) and Win+Q (The revolution of all Programs in a form that makes much more sense).

    12. Erik says:

      Just installed the RTM on my Touchsmart 520, my touchscreen doesn't work anymore. bummer because in the Release Preview there was an update available..

    13. Gregor says:

      can i download a vhd version of win 8?


    14. Gregor says:

      Is a vhd verison of win 8 available?

      If yes where can i download it?


    15. Bobbles says:

      So this build expires in 90 days even if you point it to a valid KMS on-premise? My org is in software assurance so we'll add the key to our KMS in the next week or so, but I'm guessing this version will expire no matter what.

    16. LT says:

      Seems the download has issues, goes a few % and then goes to integrety check and succeeds.  Unfortunately the file is bad.  Same issue with win 8 and Vs 2012…

    17. David Pallmann says:

      I can't say it's very friendly to make those of us who put down the preview releases to have to blow away our apps and data in order to put down the RTM edition.

    18. Dan says:

      I have a question about Windows 8 Enterprise available from MSDN…Is the Enterprise version on MSDN also the trial? Or can this be activated? MSDN shows two multi-use serials for Enterprise…

    19. Ron,

      If you go to the link you posted, look closely, you will the spokesperson stated "Computerworld got it right. Assuming the customer had a previous version of Windows installed before Release Preview, they’ll be able to upgrade from the Release Preview. They won’t need to reinstall the previous version to do the upgrade; they can just upgrade on top of the Release Preview".

      Looks like you will be able to take advantage of the $40.00 upgrade offer if you install the Release Preview version.

    20. Bear says:

      Will the $40.00 upgrade allow me to do a clean install or do I have to leave the current W7 install on the disk

    21. Sparsh says:

      Sorry if I don't know all about the windows 8 RTM, but is this build for the x86 processors or only for tablets?

    22. Alan says:

      You musn't use the M word – Metro I mean.

    23. Stop wasting my time says:

      So, the download button (The one with "Get Started Now") won't work for Windows 8 Trial:

      An unknown error occurred while processing your request. This is most likely due to a connection failure. Please try again.

      Also, Visual Studio can't be installed without .NET4.5.70759. WHERE DO I GET THAT FROM!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!

    24. Chris says:

      I have been working on installing Win 8 x64 on my desktop for 4 hours now. Finally got it to load up and now the Modern UI is crashing and locking up. Oh my, Houston we have a problem.

    25. Cahmad says:

      emmmm… Still explore Win7, Win 8 come out… Currently i am very satisfy with Windows 7 and i dont think to upgrade it yet, unless if i buy new notebook, i maybe choose win 8. As i develop and having less problem when deploy apps to previous Windows. I prefer Windows 7 as my main OS to used.

    26. Martin says:

      So, that versions are only for Developers, right? I am normal user (I am not subscribed to MSDN) and can I subscribe and download them?

    27. Dan says:


      You could subscribe to MSDN or Tech Net at the appropriate level and download what's included in your subscription.

      The licensing is for development purposes, not for production. So it would depend on what you were using it for really.

    28. Joel says:

      TIPS (i.e. a couple of things I wish I had known earlier):

      1) The installation will not allow you to upgrade Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Enterprise.  If you want to upgrade, you need Windows 8 Pro… except where is it?

      2) Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are on the same DVD, but they have different product keys.  If I had realized this, I would have never downloaded Enterprise.

    29. Thanks everyone for your interest in our subscription and trial downloads, if you experienced issues downloading please try again, there was a lot of initial interest. Downloads for additional programs beyond the ones I linked to above will be available in the coming weeks.

      For those of you asking about how to take advantage of upgrade pricing after you install the trial, to qualify for the upgrade you will need XP, Vista, or Windows 7 on your PC, if you had one of those and already upgraded to the Windows 8 Release Preview you are okay too. From the trial you’ll need to go back to one of those OS’s (sorry, I know this is a bummer) before you upgrade, check out Brandon’s post for more details:…/upgrade-to-windows-8-pro-for-39-99.aspx

    30. Neil Carter says:

      Hello –

      Thank you for reaching out to us regarding DreamSpark's availability of Windows 8. This is an incredibly exciting release for us.

      If you are a student and your school or institution has a DreamSpark Premium Subscription, the Program Administrator for your Subscription will have access to Windows 8 as of August 15th through MSDN Subscriber Downloads (…/downloads).

      For students with accounts in their school or institution's DreamSpark Premium ELMS WebStore we are working as quickly as possible to make this available and have a release target of August 24th.

      Thank you!

      Neil Carter

      DreamSpark Global Program Manager

    31. I am enjoying the finished windows 8 and visual studio and looking forward to October when I can get it for keeps.  Thankfully my app projects didn't require any code changes other than a simple rebuild but sadly I am still left sitting on the bench waiting for the store to open to individual developers so I can secure app names and submit my app's.

    32. Steve says:

      There seems to be bug in the start menu in the RTM.  If I click and drag an icon to the left or right edges of the screen to make it scroll, sometimes doesn't it does not let me scroll to the ends of the screen.  When this happens and if I drag the icon to the bottom or top to zoom out, the icons all turn into a blurry/mosaic mess.  Please fix this obvious bug!

    33. zwu says:

      i like windows 8 rtm and windows 8 rp but i think is rec that you do it on a vm and if you have 1 gb ram then dont do it.







    34. zwu says:

      sorry that i put it on each leter thanks

    35. Nishchal says:

      Can i get the product key from elms account?

    36. dje says:


      I have downloaded windows 8 enterprise RTM from my MSDN subscription. I have installed it on a vmware machine. I cannot activate it as I cannot find where I can enter my product key.

      Any idea ?

      Thanks a lot for your help.

    37. Saâd HAFFAR says:

      Finally the RTM is here  !!

    38. Windows Developer says:

      Where can i find a key for the Enterprise to get the 90-day trial ?

    39. ho mien jing says:

      Windows 8 , the newcomer,

      it's powerful, bold, beautiful, authentic,sexxxy, spectacular !!!

      its fast, its fluid and well ,everthing feels just plain snappier!

      dont let Modern UI fool you this workhorse is ready for anything

      you can trow at it. from Facebook to Twitter integration it does it all!

      no more endless searching the web for the right app.

      thrill to over 650+ great appz & awesome games  in the amazing new appz store.

      with many more sure to follow!

      run for weeks on a singal battery charge.

      this is "the" Ipad killer, Apple is surely doomed!

    40. Steve says:

      In a word, "No."

      I've read the requirements.  I currently have, what more than one MS tech has called, an "exceptional machine."  I have 4 monitors.  I have a Wacom tablet.  I have 16GB of RAM and 2.5TB of hard disk space.  Even so, to test the "great new features" of Windows 8, I need to replace my monitors and my tablet.  I will probably have to replace my video cards as well.

      The excitement I read is all about the great new "Apps" at the "App store."  What NEEDS can they fill?  I don't see one reason why I – or anyone – NEEDS this.

      To the people who said, "Windows 8 does still have a Start button…"  NO, it does NOT.  Sure, you can get a Start Menu with a couple of keystrokes, but that is NOT a Start BUTTON.  A typical user won't do keyboard shortcuts, any more than the typical user would know they can get to a Command Prompt by running cmd.

      This whole approach flips the personal computer's purposes.  Up until Windows 7, a personal computer was something that performed work and also played games.  With Windows 8, a personal computer is a box that plays games and also can do some work.

      BTW, I do NOT have an XBOX or any other video console.  I don't PLAY on my technology, except to watch movies in my down time.  

      I see no reason to even download this for free.

    41. Ian Haynes says:

      I've downloaded the RTM to upgrade my laptop running Win7 Ultimate N. Initially I tried to install the non-N version of Win 8 Enterprise but got a message saying I couldn't upgrade the 'N' version with Enterprise. I then tried upgrading with Enterprise 'N' and get the same message. "Windows 7 Ultimate N cannot be upgraded to Windows 8 Enterprise N". Is this a bug? Surely I don't have to do a full install and lose all my installed software and data??

    42. Mark-AIT says:

      Not so sure what others are seeing.   Further, if one hasn't downloaded and got the Win8 up and running, please don't relay the hearsay to us.  In a matter of a few minutes, I found EVERYTHING that I was hoping to find in the Win8 Pro.  About to get the VS2012, then get ready for some serious coding.  

      Will update people after I see what coding is like and such.

    43. JDS says:

      Downloaded Windows 8 and it works great. Been checking out many apps, but have gotten addicted to PuzzleTouch and can't seem to kick the habit.

    44. ptb says:

      Can't find the rtm on technet or msdn

    45. PRISMAY says:

      Can't upgrade Windows 7 Ultimate 64 to Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit?  I have too many programs installed/configured on Windows 7 to just start over.  Any insight or a link to the Windows 8 upgrade path?

    46. Andrew Scott says:

      @PRISMAY, try entering into the registry.  Look for "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion" Look for EditionId and change it to Enterprise.  You may be able to fool Windows Setup into thinking you have Enterprise version of Windows 7, even though you have Ultimate instead.

    47. PRISMAY says:

      Thank you Andrew.  I'll give that a try but, honestly, I would think they'd use the product ID rather than just simple text.  But you never know right?  I'll post back once I've tried with either result.  Thanks again.