Accidentally hinted on May 30, 2012 on Microsoft’s Developer Blog, Microsoft said that the next step to Windows 8, Windows 8 Release Preview, will be released the next day. Well, that accidental blog post seems to be true.
On May 31, Microsoft has made the release preview of Windows 8 available to anyone who is interested in downloading and running the operating system. As this is the release preview of Windows 8, this will be the final public pre-release to Windows 8. Also, with the addition to Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft also made release candidate of Microsoft Windows Server 8 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 to help the test with Windows 8.
Although there is still some major changes to Windows 8 coming in the final release for retail and OEM manufacturers, Microsoft has said that Windows 8 Consumer Preview is feature complete. Some of the new features or updates since the previous pre-release candidate of Windows 8, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, there has been performance enhancements, improvements to multi-monitor use, and many more features. There has also been enhancements to the apps in Consumer Preview, including many new metro-style apps to Windows 8. One of the major downside to Windows 8 Release Preview is that Microsoft has patched the ability to re-enable start menu in Windows 8 Release Preview (so think before you update).
When talking about Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft also confirms a Windows 7 update promotion expected start on June 2, 2012 and will be priced at $14.99 to the 131 markets for customers who bought a Windows 7 based machine between June 2 and January 2013 in which Microsoft will give Windows 8 Professional. It is still unknown when the final version of Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing, but we can guess that it will be released around back to school time to holiday shopping.
You can get Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download and the iso at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso.
Also you can get Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Datacenter at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx?ocid=&wt.mc_id=TEC_108_1_33.