Unlikely prior Windows releases, this round not even the ‘privileged’ MSDN and TechNet subscribers will get the software earlier than the mass, despite Microsoft has immediately delivered Windows 8.1 to OEMs, in an obvious attempt to prevent a leak. But here comes the leak for Windows 8.1 RTM. But note that Microsoft has released more QFE (Quick Fix Engineering) updates for Windows 8.1 before GA to fix issues that are discovered after RTM, and that’s explained the gap between between RTM and GA.
Windows 8.1 packs a few new features, such as a single integrated search for documents, apps, and the web; redesigned Windows Store; more default apps such as Reading List; updates apps such as Photos app with editing capability and Mail app; Skydrive as built-in cloud storage; Internet Explorer 11; boot to desktop instead of Start and etc.
For the Windows enthusiasts who can’t wait for the general availability date of Windows 8.1, various editions and languages of Windows 8.1 RTM in ISO images have been leaked, available for free download via BitTorrent network.
Here’s the hash checksum information for the US English version of Windows 8.1 RTM. Magnet links for the download is available at the forum, downloadable with your favorite BT client.
Windows 8.1 x86 English
File Name: Windows_8.1_EN-US_x86.ISO
Size: 2,915,131,392 bytes
Windows 8.1 x64 English
File Name: Windows_8.1_EN-US_x64.ISO
Size: 3,899,295,744 byte
Windows 8 Enterprise x86 English (Volume)
File Name: Windows_8.1_Ent_EN-US_Vl_x86.ISO
Size: 2,828,421,120 byte
Windows 8 Enterprise x64 English (Volume)
File Name: Windows_8.1_Ent_EN-US_Vl_x64.ISO
Size: 3,798,214,656 byte
Note that although you may previously purchase a legit Windows 8 product key, the product key is unlikely able to be used to install or upgrade to Windows 8.1. Hence you will need the following product key to initiate the install or upgrade,
Windows 8 Core: 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT
Windows 8 Professional: XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB
But these serials can’t be activated though. To activate the Windows 8.1, reenter the legitimate Windows 8 retail or OEM product key (Microsoft promises free upgrade for Windows 8 users, don’t they?) to activate the Windows 8.1. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of reactivating Windows 8.1, then it’s wise to wait for GA, that’s when new Windows 8.1 will be made available as a free update via the Windows store for the existing Windows 8 users. It’s especially true for people who hacktivate Windows 8 with Windows 8 ProWMC (Windows Media Center) upgrade key, where you need to spend more time to get the system activated. Those using MAK product key, or KMS is unable to activate for now as Windows 8.1 has updated its KMS mechanism.