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Microsoft backtracks as devs get early Windows 8.1 access

11 Sep 2013

In what is becoming quite a habit in Redmond, Microsoft has once again relented - providing early access to the release version of Windows 8.1 to developers.

Following widespread complaint from developers, eager to test the code against the final build of the soon to be released Windows 8 update, the software giant acted.

Starting September 9, Microsoft is extending availability of the current Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows Server 2012 R2 release to manufacturing (RTM) builds to the developer and IT professional communities via MSDN and TechNet subscriptions.

The Windows 8.1 RTM Enterprise edition will be available through MSDN and TechNet for businesses later this month.

"We heard from you that our decision to not initially release Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM bits was a big challenge for our developer partners as they’re readying new Windows 8.1 apps and for IT professionals who are preparing for Windows 8.1 deployments,” said Corporate Vice President Steve Guggenheimer in a blog post.

“We’ve listened, we value your partnership, and we are adjusting based on your feedback.

"As we refine our delivery schedules for a more rapid release cadence, we are working on the best way to support early releases to the various audiences within our ecosystem.”

With these updated platform and tools bits, developers can build and test their Windows 8.1 apps. The RTM versions of tools, services and platform are required for store submissions, which will open up for new Windows 8.1 apps beginning at general availability on Oct. 18.

“Given the accelerated rate of technological advancement we continue to see in the industry and here at Microsoft, it’s an exciting time to be an app builder,” Guggenheimer said.

“We recognise the critical role developers play – the breadth of our apps ecosystem is a key pillar of the Windows experience.

"It’s an essential end-to-end relationship – we deliver the tools, services and platform to give developers the flexibility and opportunity to innovate and build experiences for Windows that make all our lives more productive and fun.”