The Released to Manufacturing status (RTM) of any operating system is the second most important and definitive timepoint in getting devices to market. It would seem that just last night Windows Phone 8 achieved just that status. What this means is that Microsoft halted addition of new features to the OS a number of months ago and have spent the last few months improving performance and polishing the user experience. OEM’s on the other hand now have the final version of the OS to stuff on their devices, only needing to do minor modifications to and add unique experiences to their builds of the software before shipping to carriers and end users.
Given this latest development, it would seem that a release date of November 2nd may either be right on the money or just a little early. Windows Phone Mango RTM-ed on July 26th 2011 and officially launched/rolled out to customers on September 27th of the same year. This was exactly a two month window for device maker modifications, carrier testing and other preparations before we got our grubby mitts on it.
That said, there are rumours of carriers around the world already putting the device through their testing procedures and we may see it up for pre-order by Mid-October or even at the launch of Windows 8 on October 26th.