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Windows 8 Now Available to Microsoft Partners

Microsoft partners with Gold or Silver competencies can now access the Windows 8 "release to manufacturing" (RTM) version.

"Starting today, partners with a gold or silver competency have access to Windows 8 Enterprise internal-use benefits through our Digital Distribution Center," wrote Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, in a blog post Thursday.

Roskill pointed to several partner resources for guidance on Windows 8, including the Partner Portal and the Partner Marketing Center.

The Windows 8 RTM was first issued to original equipment manufacturers on Aug. 1., though Microsoft has designated dates for other stakeholders working with the Windows 8 platform to access the OS. The RTM was made available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers on Wednesday, while Microsoft Action Pack subscribers will be able to access it on Aug. 20.

A free 90-day evaluation version of Windows 8 Enterprise is also available for non-subscribers and non-partners here.

Windows 8 is scheduled to become generally available on Oct. 26.

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Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.