*Update: Microsoft Singapore has just informed us that beginning tomorrow (2nd June), Microsoft will roll out the Windows Upgrade Offer. Those who buy eligible Windows 7 PCs (preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate; and includes a matching and valid OEM Certificate of Authenticity) from tomorrow through 31st January, 2013, will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro at an estimated price of S$17.99 (including GST). The download will be made available to consumers on this offer starting the day Windows 8 is made generally available, and it must be redeemed before end February 2013.
As promised, Microsoft has released Windows 8 Release Preview (RP) today in 14 languages. As the Redmond company marches towards the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) stage, this will be the last public pre-release.
The RP contains many bug fixes, improved multi-monitor support, updates to the apps (like Mail, Calendar, Photos, and Internet Explorer) seen in the Consumer Preview, as well as new apps such as Sports, Travel, and News, just to name a few. Windows Store has also expanded and reached Release Preview stage, with navigation and app management improvements, and a few new apps in the catalog. The most significant addition however, is the inclusion of Flash support in IE10 Metro. This is a departure from Microsoft’s stance last year when it said that IE10 Metro will not support browser-based plugins. Reportedly, Microsoft received strong customer feedback that Flash is still very important to one’s browsing experience.
Microsoft will “enter the final phases of the RTM process in about 2 months”, according to Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky. It took about three months for Windows 7 to go from RTM to retail release. So, we could be seeing an October/November release this time round again.
You can download the ISO images of the RP here.