A report by Neowin claims Microsoft will RTM Windows 8.1 shortly after August 23rd. MSDN, TechNet Suscribers, and developers will not get early access to the build, only large OEMs. Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 to the Windows Store on October 17th and retail box copies will be available starting October 18th. Windows Server 2012 R2 will also launch the 18th of October.
The recently leaked Windows 8.1 build (9471) was an RTM branch build. It appears Microsoft is making good on its promise to release a new version of Windows every year. Now if Windows can do a yearly release, why can’t Windows Phone do one even faster…that may be a discussion for another time.