The next expected milestone for Windows 8 will be the release to manufacturing (RTM) date, which is targeted for the end of July, according to a blog post by Microsoft's Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky.
Between now and RTM, Microsoft will continue to refine the code, looking at issues including setup matters, compatibility glitches, and performance. It will also make some last tweaks to the touch-friendly Metro interface and feature set.
As predicted, Microsoft says Windows 8 and Windows RT will arrive for the crucial holiday retail season. The exact date for when the first Windows 8 machines will ship, Sinofsky notes, will be up to the hardware partners.
As InformationWeek's Paul McDougall reported recently, Windows 8 will also support new tricks for using multiple monitors. Microsoft wants you to be able to run full-screen Metro apps across multiple monitors.
"Few details have emerged about Windows 8 hardware, but it's expected that many vendors will produce systems that can be operated in tablet mode or as a laptop with support for multiple monitors," McDougall noted. "Users armed with such devices will be able to run multiple Metro apps across multiple screens, or run a Metro app on one screen while showing the classic Windows desktop on another."
Are you installing the Windows 8 Release Preview version soon? If so, we'd like to hear about how it goes. Tell us about the machine and what you see as you install, in the comments field below. We'll spotlight your comments in a follow-up story tomorrow, along with further coverage.
If you're still debating whether to buy the latest Apple iPad or wait for Windows 8 tablets, we also have some good advice on the iPad vs. Windows 8 tablets decision.
Now please chime in on your Windows 8 Release Preview install experiences.