rtm

Back in April, Windows Phone Central reported that Windows Phone 8.1 is scheduled to receive two OS updates in 2014, with one in July and another in November. Previously known as general distribution releases (GDR), the updates bring some new features, optimizations, and bug fixes to those with Windows Phone. Neowin is reporting that Update 1 is nearing completion by the Consumer Experience (CXE) team, and they may wrap in the next week. If accurate, Update 1 looks to be on schedule.

Once the Windows Phone program managers clear Update 1, the bits are pushed to Microsoft's OEM and carrier partners for further testing. An expected public release with carrier/OEM support is still a few months out, especially since the original Windows Phone 8.1 update has yet to be delivered to most users. However, like previous GDR updates, those enrolled in the Preview for Developers program are setup to get the update early, possibly within weeks.

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Late breaking story but we have confirmation that Windows Phone 8.1 has finalized today, at least for the Core team. That’s still not technically a 'Release to Manufacturers' (RTM) because the Consumer Experience (​CXE) team still needs to work out a few bugs. That will happen over the next couple of weeks before it is shipped to OEMs to put on new devices.

Microsoft is expected to unveil Windows Phone 8.1 next week during Build, where we will bring you the latest coverage live. The Developer Preview release though has been delayed by about a week from the original plan. Still, developers in attendance are expected to get a surprise or two to take home.

From Windows Phone Central to the Windows Phone team, congratulations!

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If we we’re clinical psychologists (we’re not) we might suggest that Microsoft is suffering from dissociative identity disorder, something also known as multiple personality disorder. The company has been doing 180s on products and announcements more frequently than anyone one company should. Take for example some of the backtracking Microsoft did with the Xbox One and features announced back in May at the unveiling compared to what will now be available on launch on November 22nd

And today, the most recent example – developers can now download Windows 8.1 RTM via TechNet or MSDN.

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Screenshots from the final version of Windows 8.1 RTM have begun to surface on the web and we are happy to make them available to our readers. The shots show the default start screen, lock screen, and desktop screen backgrounds. Windows 8.1 was finalized on August 23rd and we are more than excited to get the final build in our own hands.

Check out the screenshots below and let us know what you think. They might just be collections of new operating system wallpaper, but when it comes to technology – design can be the first and longest lasting impression.

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Microsoft and Nokia held a developer event in Singapore recently that focused on platform development and the advanced functionality available for app / game creation in Windows Phone 8. According to a tip from an attendee of this event (who wishes to remain anonymous), the Head of Nokia Asia Pacific Developer Relations informed the audience that Windows Phone 7.8 has been RTM (Released To Manufacturers) this week.

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Windows 8 has been pegged with the RTM title for some time but that does not mean it is really done. The code was simply ready to ship to PC makers and for developers to get busy creating apps.

The end user experience in Windows 8 has remained problematic, mainly due to the incomplete nature of the core app experiences when using the tile based WinRT interface. Whilst there have been a few minor updates nothing much has changed from when the OS was in its first public preview. All looks set to change as Microsoft just announced a slew of coming updates to the entire set of Microsoft WinRT apps.

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We managed to finally get our hands on the finalized (or very near finalized) software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 8--the one where only select developers were given access too. The SDK had surfaced on the internet a few days ago via WinUnleaked and has been floating around ever since.

After spending a few hours configuring our PC for the SDK (you need Windows 8 Pro RTM 64-bit, seriously), we fired up Windows Phone 8 OS...

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Manager of the Windows Phone Program, Joe Belfiore in NYC

Tonight we can confirm via two known sources that Windows Phone 8 has RTM’d. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, RTM stands for Release to Manufacturing (aka “going gold") and is one of the final steps in getting the software to market.

We're also told that this RTM date was planned and that Windows Phone 8 is "on time".

Windows Phone 8 codenamed ‘Apollo’ has been in development since 2011. The previous major branch of Windows Phone codenamed ‘Mango’ RTM’d in July 26th, just over one year ago. Bringing along a new core architecture built upon the NT kernel, the Windows Phone 8 OS will allow Microsoft to adopt cutting edge technology and heavily compete with Android and iOS in terms of features and hardware flexibility.

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Microsoft has released a fresh version of Windows 8 release to manufacturers (RTM) for MSDN subscribers. For those who are Windows 8 developers but not subscribers, Microsoft has also released a 90 day evaluation version of Windows 8.

Still slated for release on October 26th, this is the final version of Windows 8.

A few notes about the 90 day evaluation copy is that it can not be upgraded and, obviously, will expire. To upgrade, you'll need to uninstall the evaluation copy and a non-evaluation version of Windows 8 must be installed.

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Microsoft has announced on the Windows 8 blog that the next major version of its operating system, Windows 8, has reached the RTM milestone. What does this mean for consumers? Not an awful lot if you're not particularly interested, but it does mean manufacturers are now set to start preparing products in time for when Windows 8 is released to the world (including Microsoft with its Surface tablets).

We previously covered Windows 8 when the release preview was made available to those who wished test Microsoft's latest desktop platform. The Windows team has completed product development and testing, and have now started to hand the code onto OEM partners. The release date for Windows 8 to the general public is still October 26th, so we all still have a slight wait to get through, but we're certain it'll be worth every second.

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If you just tuned in to our latest podcast, you probably heard Jay and myself discussing when we expect Windows Phone 8 to actually come out—especially since we now know that Windows 8 Desktop will be here October 26th.

Going on simple history, the last two release cycles for Windows Phone have occurred in the October/November timeframe and we expect that to repeat again this year. Throw in the October 26th street date for Win 8 and it should be obvious what Microsoft’s overarching strategy will be—a dual launch where two of their main products dominate headlines. Or what lame business folk call “synergy”.

Over at ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley is hearing from a trusted source the following dates for Microsoft:

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It appears that those who managed to flash their handsets with the leaked RTM build of Windows Phone Mango are a-okay to update to Mango. We've had a few reports from readers on different carriers (Verizon and Deutsche Telekom to name a few) that they've successfully updated to the latest version from the RTM build.

Some users on Twitter are also confirming that they are able to update straight to Mango so it looks like everyone should be in the clear to updated safely. While it's not officially supported by the WP team, let us know how you get on in the comments.

Thanks W.R and everyone else for the heads up!

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This is just an interesting little tid-bit but we just got word that Microsoft employees can now get their phones updated to "Mango" 7720 starting today.

We were curious as to how this would be done i.e. if it is a similar process to how devs can now upgrade via Zune Desktop or do they just go to some guy's office, line up with their phones and have it flashed?

Turns out, it's actually closer to the latter part! Employees can take their phone to the Device Lab on the Bellevue campus and have it flashed to the finalized, RTM version of "Mango". That's pretty cool. So any of our readers want to chime in if they've experienced this?

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Samsung Omnia 7 running Mango RTM ?

A tipster over at WPSauce sent them a screen shot of a Samsung Omnia 7 sporting WP7 version 7720, which is the RTM version of Mango.  We saw this same version number on the Mango-toting HTC Mazaa that was awarded to a student developer yesterday and is expected to be made available to current WP7 devices this fall.  File this one under "iffy," as the picture cannot be verified and no details have been provided for its context.

In fact, the closer we look at it, the more fake it looks.

Source: WPSauce

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We'll just leave this here. It should be no surprise that those savvy gurus at team DFT have not only managed to get their hands on the RTM build of Mango (7720) but they've already have it running on an HTC HD7.

No word on whether others can flash this and our Chinese-forum skills are not helping here, but we imagine we'll see this trickle out to other devices, including the HD2...why not, right?

Source: Weibo; Thanks, talan1314!

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