Microsoft is making available on September 9 to any and all interested testers the near-final Release Candidate of its Visual Studio 2013 development suite.
The Release Candidate (RC) can be downloaded starting around 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST on September 9. The download is available under a "Go Live" license.
The Visual Studio 2013 RC leaked to the Web a week ago. Microsoft also made the RC available to its own employees and a limited number of developers outside the company, according to my sources.
Today, Microsoft is making the Visual Studio 2013 RC available broadly, and is commiting to have the RTW (release to Web) version available on October 18. October 18 is also the day Microsoft is making Windows 8.1 generally available, and the day it is opening the Windows Store for Windows 8.1-optimized applications from third-party devs.
Microsoft also announced today that it is going to make the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) bits of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 available to those with MSDN/TechNet subscriptions on September 9. Microsoft officials had decided against releasing the RTM bits early, but reversed course after receiving developer feedback against that move.
Update: Microsoft is going to hold a post-RTW launch event for Visual Studio 2013 on November 13. It's not clear, at this point, if this will be a virtual event only or also an in-person one.