Windows Intune users: Final Windows 8 bits are available for download

Subscribers of Microsoft's Windows Intune cloud management and security service are able to download the Windows 8 bits a few days earlier than scheduled.

Microsoft is continuing to slowly expand the pool of existing Windows users to whom the final, released-to-manufacturing (RTM) Windows 8 bits are available.

The latest group who can now grab the RTM bits, as of August 30, are Windows Intune subscribers. (Thanks to reader @timkefford, who alerted me to the availability today. His screen shot is below.

intunegetswin8

Microsoft officials confirmed availability, noting that Intune users are getting access to the bits a few days earlier than originally scheduled. Intune users were slated to get the Windows 8 RTM bits on September 1 -- the same day that volume-license customers without Software Assurance are supposed to get them. (Volume licensees without SA can purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers as of September 1, Microsoft officials have said.)

Windows Intune is Microsoft's cloud-based PC management and security service. Intune users get rights to current and future versions of Windows — similar to what they’d get if they signed up for Microsoft’s Software Assurance volume-licensing program. Microsoft delivered the third iteration of Windows Intune earlier this summer.

It's rather ironic, but the on-premises piece of Windows Intune doesn't yet support Windows 8 and won't until some time after Windows 8 is generally available. (Thanks to @phillippmuller for reminding me of that fact.)

General availability of Windows 8 for those that don't yet have the RTM bits is slated for October 26. The Windows 8 launch will be October 25 in New York City .

Next week, on September 4, Microsoft is slated to make the Windows Server 2012 bits available for evaluation and purchase worldwide by customers. On that day, Microsoft will be holding a virtual launch for Windows Server 2012, kicking off at 8 am PT/11 am ET.

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