Released to manufacturing on August 1, it should hit general availability on October 26
Only a few days after Microsoft announced that the Windows 8 code has been finalized and that its manufacturing partners have access to it, the platform has leaked online.The OS has been made available only to hardware makers for the time being, so that they could come up with new PCs in time for the big launch planned for October 26th.
While other people will gain access to the final Windows 8 code before August is over, such as MSDN and TechNet customers who will be able to download it starting with August 15th, the OS will become available for the general public only about three months from now.
However, a copy of Windows 8 Enterprise did leak on the web, and is currently available through various sharing sites.
Apparently, this is an “N” edition of Windows 8, which means that it comes without Windows Media Player packed inside.
As The Verge notes, Microsoft came up with the N flavors of Windows after the European Commission ruled in 2004 that the company had to provide a copy of the platform without the Windows Media Player packed inside.
Microsoft wouldn’t comment on the leak, yet we’re pretty sure that the company is already looking into the matter, trying to find those responsible.
In the meantime, you might want to think twice before heading to a sharing website to download and install the leaked build.
There’s no assurance that malicious software was not packed inside it, and that using the unofficial copy won’t do more harm than good.
The best thing to do is to wait for Microsoft to make the platform available for everyone, or to download the Release Preview of the OS to take it for a spin, if you haven’t already.
Starting with October 26, the Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro flavors of the platform will become available for end-users on both new and old hardware. Upgraders will even be able to grab the new OS at heavily discounted rates.