Microsoft is currently applying finishing touches to the next version of Windows, and the compilation of pre RTM builds is fast accelerating. One of the newer builds is said to have been doing the rounds.

Windows 8.1 build 9477 has reportedly been sent to hardware and software partners for testing.

Win8China is claiming that Redmond has recently submitted build 9477 of its upcoming operating system to select partners for testing purposes and it appears that the final build of the OS is just a few days away.

Insider sources are also indicating that Windows 8.1 has now entered what is being called the RTM escrow development stage — which basically means that Microsoft has completed work on the product on its end, and all that remains is some slight final optimization.

No official word yet on when the RTM version will go live, but given that Microsoft has already confirmed that it plans to unveil it sometime this month.

Either way, Windows 8.1 is expected to be announced in just a few days.

General availability of the operating system is also set to follow in the next couple of months. Microsoft will probably announce the schedule, the official release date around the time when RTM version is sent to hardware vendors.

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