Microsoft's Windows 8 Release Preview looks to hit on May 31

Microsoft's Windows 8 Release Preview looks to hit on May 31

Summary: Microsoft may be set to deliver the near-final release preview of Windows 8 to testers as early as May 31, according to an accidentally posted blog entry.

TOPICS: Windows

Thanks to an accidental blog post, Microsoft officials may have tipped their hand that the Windows 8 Release Preview -- the final public test build of Windows 8 -- may hit a bit earlier than many expected.

Microsoft officials have been promising for weeks that Windows 8 Release Preview would be available for download during the first week of June. But a May 30 post -- now pulled -- on a new Windows Hardware and Driver Developer blog -- outlined plans for availability for the Release Preview with a "download here" link that slated to go live on May 31.

A few of the folks I follow on Twitter saw the post and wondered aloud whether the Windows 8 team might follow its well-trodden path of underpromising and overdelivering by pushing out the Release Preview earlier than promised. grabbed a screen capture of the blog post, authored by Chuck Chan, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Development Team, before Microsoft pulled it.

Not only does the pulled post mention the Windows 8 Release Preview, but it also mentions a new Windows Driver Kit 8 and the Visual Studio 2012 Release Preview. Microsoft has been referring to the coming version of Visual Studio as "Visual Studio 11," but I've noted previously that my sources have been saying for months that the final name of the product would be Visual Studio 2012.

There have been a number leaks of the Windows 8 Release Preview bits, with the most recent being this week from and various Chinese Web sites.

If you want to read the text of the accidentally posted blog entry from Microsoft, one of my readers who requested anonymity sent me a screen capture of it. Here's the text in full:

WindowsHardwareBlog MSFT 0 Points000 Recent Achievements No Achievements Earned. Learn How! View Profile 30 May 2012 3:26 PM

•    Comments0

Welcome to the Windows 8 Hardware blog! I’m Chuck Chan, Corporate Vice President on the Windows Development team. We’re very excited to make available today the Windows 8 Release Preview on the Windows Dev Center. Windows 8 represents a leap forward for the Windows platform, the development tool set, and the device experiences you can build for Windows.

We’re launching this blog to give you some insight into how we designed and built Windows 8, and to explore the best practices for developing great hardware and drivers, as you enter the new world of Windows 8 development. The people contributing to this blog are the engineers building Windows 8 and the tools and kits that support it. Our goal is to help you get started by focusing on the “why” and “how” of building amazing PCs and device experiences for Windows 8. Each blog post will present a development topic and tie together information from the Dev Center, Forums, MSDN Library, and where it makes sense, samples from the Windows Hardware Code Gallery.

We designed the Windows 8 platform and tools to help you create high-quality drivers and Metro style device apps using an integrated, modern tool set. Using the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) and Visual Studio, you can write, build, sign package, deploy, test, and debug your drivers and apps directly from Visual Studio. With the new Windows Hardware Certification Kit, you can ensure the compatibility and reliability of your devices, and provide a great overall user experience.

To get started, download and install Windows 8 Release Preview, the Windows Driver Kit 8, and Visual Studio Professional 2012. The Windows 8 SDK is also included with Visual Studio. As you begin using Windows 8, you’ll notice that we’ve added new features and improved existing ones. In addition to providing a modern tool set, we’ve also been hard at work improving power management and refining the way you provide a great user experience for devices with Metro style device apps. We’ll share more details in future posts.

The Windows Development team will post to this blog once every one to two weeks until the release of Windows 8. Commenting is encouraged, and we are looking forward to a lively conversation. Please apply common courtesy and stay on topic with your comments. The Windows Hardware Community Forum is also a great place for hardware-related questions and discussion about Windows 8.

Microsoft officials still haven't said when they expect to release to manufacturing the Windows 8 bits, but my sources are saying July isn't an impossibility. Previous reports have pegged the launch and general availability of Windows 8 for October of this year.

Topic: Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Well...

    ... I know what I'm doing tomorrow. Hello Windows 8!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Hello Hello

      I can't wait to watch the bits download as I lick my chops for the RC.
  • If it does become available then it is time for a wipe and reload.

    Looking forward to the next release. the Consumer preview show much promise but does have a lot of bugs in the applications, many of which do not work at all and in the drivers. Especially the network drivers. Did I mention the network drivers are buggy.....
    • older software may not work with Windows 8

      If you have alot of expensive software, you may want to consider carefully if you want to upgrade to Windows 8, because many of the programs that worked with previous versions of Windows will NOT work with Windows 8.
      • but it might

        I have yet to find any application that works on Windows 7 and does not work on Windows 8 - and I have a lot of it installed, hence my distaste for the new start menu on which I can never find anything.
        Martin Robins
      • What are you talking about?

        I have had NO issues running any program that runs under Windows 7 on Windows 8. Other than basicly ignoring METRO apps ( no touch monitor like 99% of Windows users ), Windows 8 runs great and has only crashed once.
      • I should hope so

        If everything on Windows 7 runs on Windows 8, why bother upgrading to the Fisher-Price user interface?
  • Hope so.

    I like it when things are released close to the weekend. I can get all antisocial, and keep that pot'o'joe kicking the whole time.

    What has my life come to? Oh, well.
  • Nice

    I can't wait to install this tomorrow.
  • The Blog Post in this article does not have links that Microsoft posted

    The Blog Post in this article does not have links that Microsoft posted which includes the download link of the release preview that Microsoft posted in their Blog post today in the morning

    I found the complete Blog post here with working links
  • I hope in place upgrade works this time

    Sick of dual booting. I know the issue is not my fault either, but something in the setup program is preventing a well updated Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit install from completing successfully.
    • Do the right thing...

      In your heart of hearts, you know that you owe it to yourself (and to your Windows system) to give it a fresh install of any new major version. Even if it takes half a day, you'll be glad you did (and that I reminded you today) until the RTM build drops. ;-)
      • No thanks

        I am not impressed with what I saw of Windows 8, I'm sticking with my XP Pro for as long as I can. My daughter has Vista on her laptop and a friend has Windows 7 on her PC, I dislike them both. Windows 8 is great for the mobile crowd since it is geared towards touchscreens. I prefer a real keyboard and mouse :)
        I don't owe myself and my Windows system nothing but to keep it operational and free of bugs.
    • in place ugrade.

      I upgraded my UX31 just fine. 3 drivers didn't make the transfer, so I downloaded them and installed them again. Hey presto. Fully working win8 on an Ultrabook.
  • W8 team kickin azz, takin names.

    July would be pretty typical for October launch. Maybe they'll let some oems (cough Nokia) ship pre launch to hit back to school.
    Johnny Vegas
  • I'm ready.

    Just cleaned up my entire user folder, deleted over 30GB of unnecessary items, and now backing up to external HDD. I will be remoting into my machine from work tomorrow to start the download and get my USB stick ready!
  • Countdown for 31st May in Redmond

    I have found a countdown clock here
    counting till its 31st may in Redmond i.e Probably When Microsoft will release the RP
  • Here comes another Vista...

    Windows 8 will be a huge flop...
    • Very wise, but Calling it Vista is too good for Windows 8.

      Even Vista is 100000000000000000000000000 times better than Windows 8.
    • If you're right...

      ...that will be the first nail in an admittedly huge coffin, but it'll hurt nonetheless. It's not 2006 when Microsoft could still afford to serve up an egg.