Developers, in the past usually received early access to Microsoft software, including the various versions of the Windows operating system. The idea was to give them enough time to optimize their applications and prepare new products or services.
But this time, however, only the OEMs are being provided with the 8.1 RTM, with Microsoft having announced that developers will get the product on October 18 along with end users.
But this change in policy has angered MSDN and TechNet subscribers that wanted early access to the final bits of Windows 8.1, and a flood of criticism from the IT community has followed.
A number of comments are posted on official Microsoft blog pages. Here is one from the Blogging Windows page that talked about getting apps ready for Windows 8.1:
“Microsoft’s decision to withhold Windows 8.1 RTM to developers and volume license customers is a significant mistake. It further discourages developers and enterprises to adopt its new operating system by introducing unnecessary delays and roadblocks to readiness activities. It really defies logic.”
And another that talks about real world challenges:
“In a world inhabited by pink unicorns and pixie dust, the advice in this post would be sufficient. However we live in the real world last time I looked out the window. In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before GA. The fact that Microsoft no longer seems to understand this truly frightens me.”
Piracy, as you may have guessed, is one of the major concerns that has factored in Redmond’s decision not to release the RTM build to its paying subscribers
Also, the company wants everyone to have the same experience out of the box, as the Windows development team is still said to be working on optimizing and enhancing the upcoming operating system, even as it has hit the RTM milestone.
Microsoft, however, maintains that developers can use the Windows 8.1 Preview to create and test their apps. With that being said there is a notable difference in performance between the Preview and the RTM version, as the operating system was continually optimized during its development.