I am absolutely puzzled here:
What is the difference between RTM, GA(Gerneral Availability) and final GOLD version?
For example for Windows 8:
RTM - Microsoft sends this version to ASUS, Acer, DELL, HP etc. so that these manufacturers can intsall the system on the notebooks which they are going to ship to the stores to be sold?
General Availability - Microsoft found some bugs, repaired them and now this repaired version can be purchased by customers who have Windows 7 and want to buy and install Windows 8 on theirs machines?
GOLD - Microsoft found other bugs again, they repaired them and now they pronounce this version to be the final version that is not going to be changed ever?
Then, maybe after 6 or 9 months they release Service Pack 1 which will repair new bugs? Then, they can relase SP2, SP3, etc.
Or there is absolutely no difference between RTM, GA and GOLD? (exactly the same software, bit by bit...) The only difference is in the date when the software is available.
- RTM - manufacturers like Dell, HP get it
- GA - anybody who wants to buy the DVD with the system can buy it
- GOLD - even the prisoners and people in North Korea or Papua New Guinea can buy it since it is widespread in all parts of the world.