Windows 8 Milestone 1, 2, 3, 4

Windows 8 MilestonesWindows 8 Milestones

Here are details of significant developments for Windows 8.  Guy last added material on

Microsoft Windows 8 Milestones


Microsoft Windows 8 Milestones

As soon as Window 7 was released, Microsoft probably started working on Windows 8 (and it’s rumoured there will be a Windows 9 in 2014).  In true project management style they broke the task down into steps, consequently, as the development team delivers a major objective, so a milestone is reached.

M1 (Milestone One) Prototype available to internal testers in October 2010.  A time of much secrecy.

M2 Beta 1 Was created in September 2010, but unlike previous Microsoft operating systems, this beta stage was not available to the public.  Various builds 7955, 7959Windows 8 Milestones

M3  At this milestone in July 2011 Windows 8 will be pretty much feature complete.  However, there was still much secrecy (I wonder why), and still no publically available beta.

Developer Preview (Pre-beta): Build 8102 September 2011.

Consumer Preview (Real Beta): Build 8250 February 29th 2012

Enterprise Preview (Release Candidate):  June 2012.

M4 RTM The final Release To Manufacturers of Windows 8 in August 2012.

General Availablility (GA) October 2012

"Blue" Windows 8.1 October 2013

Explanations of Version and Build Numbers

Beta Version – Translates to: ‘Microsoft has done its best to produce a working model’.  Inevitably, this prototype is buggy and is not feature complete, in the case of Windows 8 not released for public testing’. 

Preview Version – New terminology, betas are now Developer Preview, Consumer Preview and Enterprise Preview.

RC (Enterprise Preview) – Release Candidate.  Microsoft will not add any significant features.  At this stage Windows 8 will have the look and feel of the final product.

Build Numbers for Windows 8:  You can display this number on the desktop with PaintDesktopVersion, or else search the registry for CurrentBuildNumber.

Major Version Number – Confusingly, Windows 8 reports to be 6.  XP was 5, and way back there was NT 4.

Minor Version Number – 2 as in 6.2 for Windows 8, Windows 7 was 6.1 and Vista was 6.0.  (XP was version 5.x)

Note: Version numbers rarely correspond to build numbers.

RTM – Release to Manufacturer.

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Windows 8 Milestones – Guy’s Guestimates

One factor that may be relevant is that Microsoft will no longer support Vista after April 10 2012, incidentally, my friend ‘Barking Eddie’ said Microsoft did not support Vista before 2012, so there will be no change there!

  • Beta 1 September  2010 (M2)
  • Pre-release Version February 2011 (M2)
  • Feature complete July 2011 Build 8042 (M3)
  • Developer Preview September 2011 (BUILD Conference)
  • Consumer Preview February 2012
  • Release Candidate May 2012 (BUILD 8400)
  • Final Release August 2012 (M4)

There people complained that Vista betas were just about finding bugs.  Guy says beware what you ask for, because with Windows 8 there are no early beta versions for the public to try and testing.

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Versions of Microsoft Windows that I have been involved with:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Build 7600) October 2009
  • Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) February 2009


  • Vista SP2 2008
  • Vista SP1 Beta September 2007
  • Vista general release of all editions January 30th 2007
  • Vista Business edition released to manufacturers December 2006
  • Beta 1 5112 Summer 2005
    (Longhorn 5112)

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Microsoft Windows 8 Config Topics

Windows 8 Overview  • Windows 8 Metro-style UI  • Windows Application Monitor  • Free Config Generator

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