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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.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

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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