Word on the street is that Microsoft has already finalized work on Windows 8.1 RTM, bang on target, at that. The software titan completed development of the final RTM version of the upcoming operating system last week, according to schedule.

But if you were expecting an official announcement on this, you may have to wait a bit longer.

A report over at ZDNet claims that while the company actually completed development of the RTM on Friday, but it decided to delay the public announcement of the milestone — because of the news on CEO Steve Ballmer’s retirement.

The company, quite rightly, feared that the news of Ballmer’s decision to leave would overshadow pretty much any Windows 8.1 news. And in the end, the software giant decided to wait a few more days before providing any information on its OS update.

This is one thing, Microsoft got right — even though he has not provided any specific reasons behind his decision, Ballmer has been the headline news ever since he announced that he would be retiring within the next 12 months.

Nevertheless, Windows 8.1 RTM is now said to be on its way to OEMs around the world.

The hardware partners need to test and install the operating system on a large number of devices which are being prepared for the holiday shopping season.

Redmond has already announced that Windows 8.1 would be released to users on October 18, and at the same time, the technology titan expects its new operating system to pave way for a fresh new wave of computing devices, including hybrids and tablets.

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