Windows 8.1 is almost here but MSDN and Technet subscribers get screwed

A few weeks ago we hinted that Microsoft was planning to release the RTM by the end of August but we didn’t know the exact day.

Today Antoine Leblond, corporate VP of Windows Program Management announced that Microsoft has officially began to release Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 to hardware partners.

While Microsoft’s partners are getting for Windows 8.1, Microsoft is gearing up to make Windows 8.1 generally available to everyone (customers, MSDN and Technet subscribers) on October 18th.

But, despite the good news a lot of MSDN and Technet subscribers are justifiably upset that they’ll have to wait until October 18th like everyone else.  Microsoft claims these subscribers have to wait because it’s polishing the product to maximize quality.  Also, I think Microsoft wants to give OEMs a chance to test the RTM build.

But I’m going to have to call bull on Microsoft’s response.

I still have a problem understanding why Microsoft has decided to retain the RTM bits until launch.  MSDN subscribers literally pay thousands of dollars so they can properly test their apps with new Microsoft software before the General Availability date hits.    In effect, it seems like Microsoft has forgotten that developers are really the lifeblood of entire operation.  Windows 8.1 is nothing without developers.

In addition, what are people supposed to do who are working on Windows 8.1 books.  By not releasing the RTM to MSDN these authors are royally screwed.

The bottom line is that I am convicted Microsoft is actually going to lose partners with this update because it is showing with its actions that it really doesn’t value it’s MSDN and Technet subscribers.

How can partners reasonably test apps against Windows 8.1 when they’re getting the final copy the same day as the public?

This is a major blunder by Microsoft.

How do you guys feel about this, do you agree or disagree?  Please let me know in the comments.

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