You have probably heard that Windows 8 will officially be released on October 26th but, as you assumed, lots of people will be getting it ahead of that date. Just like with Windows 8 RP and CP, versions are seeded to insiders — like developers and TechNet subscribers — as early as possible so that they can test software, demo systems, and generally get ready for the switch-over… even if many of them won’t have to start supporting Windows 8 for some time. Today, at 1pm, the next floodgate opened and Windows 8 RTM became available to download.This is such a notable date because RTM (Release to manufacturing) is essentially a finalized version of Windows 8. Unlike the Release Preview and Consumer Preview, which contained known issues and were considered at least somewhat unstable, RTM is past the point where any significant changes will be made to the software. The Windows team noted that they will continue to monitor and improve on the operating system but, barring a major disaster, this is essentially the Windows 8 that we will all buy in late October.The people getting Windows 8 today won’t typically be enthusiasts, but rather MSDN and TechNet subscribers. This means IT departments and developers, who’ll want to kick the tires of Win 8 as early as possible and have more important things to do than see if it’ll run on that Core 2 Duo box in the basement.Windows 8 officially hit the RTM milestone on August 1st, at which points Microsoft actually started sending it out to manufacturers (it’s not just a fun acronym!). IT pros and devs had to wait another two weeks, but will still be swiping and charm-tapping on RTM well ahead of the crowd.