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Windows 8 will be "released to manufacturing" in the first week of August, and will move to "general availability" for everyone by the end of October, Microsoft has announced.
Speaking at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in the US, Tami Reller, the vice-president for Windows, gave the dates when the finished software would be sent out to companies so that they can test and include it on PCs – the "release to manufacture", or "RTM" date – and the later date when people will be able to buy and download it directly from Microsoft.
Will my devices and programs work with Windows 8 Release Preview?
Windows 8 Release Preview should work with the same devices and programs that work with Windows 7. In some cases, the device or program might require an update or you might need to uninstall some programs, and then reinstall them after installing Windows 8 Release Preview. The Windows 8 Release Preview Setup program will scan your PC to determine what's compatible and provide a report that you can save or print. Make sure your devices are connected to your PC and turned on before you run the Setup program.