Windows Phone 8 has officially gone gold (RTM)

Manager of the Windows Phone Program, Joe Belfiore in NYC

WP CentralRum: 10

Tonight we can confirm via two known sources that Windows Phone 8 has RTM’d. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, RTM stands for Release to Manufacturing (aka “going gold") and is one of the final steps in getting the software to market.

We're also told that this RTM date was planned and that Windows Phone 8 is "on time".

Windows Phone 8 codenamed ‘Apollo’ has been in development since 2011. The previous major branch of Windows Phone codenamed ‘Mango’ RTM’d in July 26th, just over one year ago. Bringing along a new core architecture built upon the NT kernel, the Windows Phone 8 OS will allow Microsoft to adopt cutting edge technology and heavily compete with Android and iOS in terms of features and hardware flexibility.


Windows Phone 8 devices: (L to R) Lumia 920, Lumia 820, HTC 8X, ATIV S

While the full feature list of Windows Phone 8 has not yet been revealed, users were treated to a sneak preview back in June at the Windows Phone Summit.  Some of the features introduced include multi-core CPU support, near-field communications (NFC), 720p and higher resolutions and native C++ development.

Signing off

With Windows Phone 8 now gold, all eyes are now on the software development kit (SDK) for developers. Although some select users were able to download it this week, the SDK has yet to be finalized. We’ve heard that newer builds are now going out to those with access and with the OS now finalized, the SDK can presumably get polished off for general release.

Team members sign off

The next step with the OS being delivered to OEMs will be for them to iron out any kinks and optimize drivers for their hardware. There still may be some back-and-forth between the OEMs and Microsoft as bugs and other minor issues are discovered but for all intents and purposes, the OS is now locked and feature complete.

What all this means for finalized hardware for carriers is exactly what we’ve been expecting: a November release for many carriers, following the “big unveiling” of Windows Phone 8 possibly at BUILD ’12 in Redmond. Whether those dates are November 2nd or later remain to be seen, as carriers still need to approve the devices for general sale. 

Updated: 'Signing off' images from 'coolrick'; via; Thanks, Picturepan2.

Windows Phone Central of course will be live at BUILD 12 with full coverage of all events.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Cool.
  • Yeah. BOOM Shakalaka! What were those nay-sayers saying again?
  • "nay"?
  • LMAO
  • +1!!!
  • Whahaha ROFLMAO!
  • When is build?
  • It would be cooler if Joe could learn to tuck in dress shirts.
  • He's wearing tuck needed
  • Lol yea, I read an article on the now defunct Onit app from MSN that that's actually now considered office casual in certain trendier companies. He's at least better dressed than some of other dudes that are on stage. I hate to see Steve Elop button his blazer, his pot belly can make that button into a deadly projectile!! q:
  • LOL yeah. Elop looks a bit compressed in his suits.
  • I always expect him to grab a microphone and belt out "Don't Stop Believin'"
  • Intersting. If you tuck a dress shirt into jeans in the UK, you would be considered a nerd.
    It would look very "preppy". Like those guys with jumpers over their shoulders and tied at the front.
    Jeans = shirt out if its the casual look.
  • Why? He looks just fine.
  • It would be cooler if Nokia would just test the phones and sell them unlocked.  It would cut out the scumbags at ATT for holding them for "testing"    If you have to get one under contract subsidy you are weak.
  • screw AT&T as much as i want a L920 it's not enough to move me to AT&T if I can't buy an unlocked one and use it on T-MO then it's not going to be a nokia device for me.
  • Lemme guess, Straight talk, right?
  • Lol
  • Gotta love shitty WalMart brand. Lol
  • oh yes it is so shitty paying half of what ATTs lowest contract charges.
  • "Shitty WalMart brand" that is half the price with the exact same service and no random 'administration fees' added on at the end of the month
  • Hold on... Att has a ton of agreements with regional carriers that let at&t customers use their towers. When you're on their prepaid network you don't get to take advantage of those agreements and are only allowed on att towers.
  • You can import an unlocked one form europe... 
  • ...or poor =P
  • And get a hairstyle lol
  • So does this somewhat validate that October 21st rumor?
  • Everything still has to go back to OEMs and carriers for final device testing, and the official launch for WP8 is slated for October 29th. It's not impossible for October 21st, but I'd still say more likely to be the 26th-2nd timeframe.
  • Given that Nokia works so closely with MSFT, my guess is that Nokia got their hands on RTM WP8 before anyone else. Suddenly, October 29th sounds more like a reality.
  • I hope T-Mobile USA releases the Samsung ATIV October 21st. We haven't had a cool phone since the HD7
  • Poor T-Mo deserves a good WP8 phone.
  • Couldn't agree more. They're WPs best carrier IMO
  • The lumia 710 is a awesome phone
  • I would think that it would increase the possiblility but I still think it will be the following Build 2012 week.
    Would be a good suprise though.
  • I'm sorry, what was that nay-sayers? WP8 is running late and there's a risk of delay? Like I've been saying in the forums, this is all just part of software development. Congratulations to the Windows Phone development team! Now hurry up and start revealing consumer features!!! :)
  • I was about to say the same thing...Cool.
  • +1
  • Yay! Good news indeed
  • October 21st seems like a viable date then. I'll be in line for a yellow 920 and its accessories. Yeaaaa!!!!1
  • Like said on the article it still needs to pass the carrier testing. 
    I would still say we will see devices launched early November, but we will see. 
  • Accessories are overrated, I just use the headphone jack straight to my system in my room which sounds tons better than any dock.
  • I want that speaker dock for my bedroom, not the living room to replace my main system I can charge and play music? Done deal. It's also small enough to be portable...tailgate! :D
  • in this case with the NFC support and wireless charging i can see the benefits.
    Myself getting the Nokia stand. Charges your phone while also opens application you want (clock in my case) automatically thanks to NFC.
  • no developers got the SDK and were able to download it this week, all they got is a from on microsoft connect to apply for (late) early access to the SDK.
  • A lot of developers have the sdk (the important ones), some more casual developers can apply for the preview sdk now, public will see the full sdk later.
  • Hell yeah!!!
  • Kill. It best be ready by April.
  • Phew
  • RAW!!!!!!!
  • It's always nice to see good news :)
  • Awesome news!!!!
  • Yes Yes Yes!!!
  • Pop the bubbly!
  • I should be able to purchase a WP8 by the time the curtains close for BUILD.
  • could this mean htc may show us some stuff we dont know about?
  • Like how they plan to forget about you when you buy their phone and not support it at all
  • Burn.....
  • Sounds like a sprint issue
  • I've had heaps of OEM updates for my HD7
  • That's great news. Let's hope OEM and carriers do not run into many problems that could delay things..
  • Hopefully HTC will be able to show us more
  • Suhhweeeettt!!
  • It is a gold release already and Nokia wasn't even able to show the whole product just a week ago (plus the described lags in the OS because it was apparently not even nearly finished according to Nokia)? That's just plain stupid.
  • They didn't show it off not because it wasn't finished but because MS wants to announce the feature set.
  • Yes, MS didn't want to reveal any features allowing just strict "hands-off" demo access.
  • Raw naked POWER!!!!
  • It's about time! :D
  • I wanna say fina....fucking..... ly but I can't till I have it in my hands ohh well I hope they incorporate that whack soo I can start wacking my phone off
  • :) This has me excited... yey.
  • price and date  of the lumias will be go to public on nokia collaboration day 2012 9 25 also they will announce carriers and others stuff like accecories price and more i heard from a very good source of nokia.
  • Im wondering if the guys over at xda are going to be able to put wp8 on existing hardware leaving out the stuff that's hardware incompatible.
  • I wonder if anybody at xda even cares enough to do it
  • Nice. Too bad and ironic I just ordered an iPhone 5 on Verizon and leaving sprint after 14 years
  • What is the irony?
  • +1 not actually ironic
  • You dont find it ironic that WP8 RTM'd the same day preorders were taken for IP5? I did. I'm a bit nervouse going IOS. Never had one before. I moved along the Sammy Instinct, then Palm Prem and then Arrive path. I wasnt going to lock my self into another 2 years with Sprints painfully slow network with a 4GLTE iphone that has to use the slow lane til God knows when in 2013-2014. I lost ALL my patience after these long 14 years and most of it was lost these last 6-9 months. The so called data speed upgrades never happend in my area. They did all the towers around us, and then the tower in my town (we're rural) disappeared. Anyway not to beat that horse. It was a lot of things that added up for me to do something like this and now that I spent $400 on two iPhone 5's, I am nervouse about the eco-system switch. I had no idea when Sprint was going to get a WP8, let alone the announcement Sept 5, I was really hoping for better news and can wait til Nov.
  • No, that's coincidence or just bad luck... Not ironic. If you listen to the old Alanis Morisset song with the chorus "Isn't it ironic?" the song gives examples of bad situations that are NOT ironic - simply bad luck. Some people say Alanis doesn't have a clue about irony, but others say that creating a song about irony that isn't ironic is actually ironic itself :P It is common knowledge that WP8 mobiles will be available at the end of Oct/early Nov... They had to RTM sometime soon. Also, you seem to be blaming your network for your choice of handset. Why not stay with your current phone (or buy one on eBay) and switch carriers? Or wait another month?
  • So you had to switch anyway whether you wanted better coverage or a WP8. Sprint isn't going to give you either anytime soon. Can't really blame the RTM for that. I'm sure you'll be ok with your new iPhones. The RDF seems to have that anaesthetizing effect on people's thought processes. :D
  • and your point? for this post and being here complaining 
  • Well, isn't that special.
  • So you're leaving Sprint for Verizon to get a phone you can get in Sprint? Cool story bro.
  • Hahahahahahaha
  • No voice+data D:
  • Too bad and ironic that you just got the most pathetic phone of them all. Seriously why would people even get this snot especially considering what WP8 will be capable of.
  • Why do that when both will offer the same phone!? What an iDiot!
  • LOL I see what you did there ;-)
  • Irony... I do not think that word means what you think it means.
  • You left Sprint which offers unlimited data and will carry the iPhone 5 for a carrier that will offer the same phone at a costlier service plan without unlimited data?
  • Its called coverage bro
  • Good point about coverage. I take back what I said.
  • To be fair Verizon has significantly better LTE coverage than Sprint.
  • I just saw a commercial about that tonight.
  • Red 920 now.
  • Yes! That's what I want for my new phone! =) Going to miss my super light Samsung Focus S, but the red color will be worth the extra weight!
  • I AM QUIVERING IN ANTICIPATION!!! Yes, sorry, I had to use caps. :D
  • I think 'quivering' is an underutilised word and everyone should drop it into casual conversation more :P
    i.e. That taco was so good I'm quivering with delight
  • Personally I don't use "quivering" because it sounds girly, but to each its own.
  • Hmm... I find that adding "to the extreme!" to the end of potentially girly statements gives that added edge of manliness... i.e. "fark it's cold, I'm quivering... to the extreeeeeme!"
  • Lol
  • Is that picture from Microsoft employees signing off?  Would that make this picture the first official acknowledgement of the code name Apollo?
  • I would say yes. That also got my attention.
  • There was an Engadget interview with some kinda MS program manager (people hub?) and he referred to "Apollo" but cleared his throat and said something like "I mean Windows Phone 8."
  • Nice!
  • So excited for general availability!!!
  • I know what device I'm picking up in December! Spoiler: it starts with Nokia and ends with 920.
  • I'm stumped. Can I get another hint? Hehehe
  • Hmmmmmm let me guess, Nokia 920? :-P
  • Nope... You lose 1 point. The correct answer is "Nokia Lumia 920" :P :P
  • LOL!
  • Lol
  • RTM is already tested... isn't it?
  • RTM means it is fully tested and the code is locked. Any additional bugs found by OEM have to be dealt with future updates.
  • Finally \o/
  • Finally. So excited and really wanting a 920 just not sure I can afford it as I need to purchase it at full price.
  • So you guys gonna bump the BGR rumor to a 8
  • If anything, I'd knock it down to 2...
  • Gotta start working OT to get some extra money for a Red 920.  Seems like these weeks are going too slow. :p. Glad to get some good Friday evening news.
  • I want to know what all the three-letter abbreviations in the photo mean. Good stuff, no doubt!
  • Presumably the sub team names. Fin is finance.
  • And also what's with pix with "weibo" on them-that's the Chinese twitter service. Don't tell me the coding was done in China..
  • From left-right, top-down in the picture:
    Windows Phone (obvious)
    8 (obvious)
    RTM = release to manufacture
    Apollo = (obvious) but just in case -- this is the codename for WP8
    Leadership = people like Joe, etc.
    CPUB = Content Publishing
    DevPlat = not an acronym. But short for developer platform. Team responsible for the 3rd party dev kit
    EPX = Engineering Productivity Experience
    LCA/HR/Fin = Legal, HR (obvious), Finance (also obvious)
    CXE = Customer Experience Engineering
    Real World = not an acronym. Responsible for "real world" scenarios, i.e. maps, NFC, etc.
    ESB = Entertainment, Shell, Browser </