Windows 7 is Officially RTM (Release To Manufacturing)
Article by George Norman
On 23 Jul 2009
Redmond-based software giant Microsoft has confirmed that the development process of Windows 7 has reached the final development milestone before becoming generally available to Microsofties everywhere. I am of course talking about Windows 7 RTM (Release to Manufacturing). Microsoft representatives did say the company will announce the RTM in the second half of July and this is precisely what happened – Windows 7 Build 7600.16385 has been signed off as RTM.

Windows communications manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, Brandon LeBlanc, comments: “I am pleased to announce that Windows 7 has RTM’d! RTM officially happens only after sign-off occurs. What happens is a build gets designated as a RTM contender after going through significant testing and meeting our quality bar for RTM. Then, it goes though all the validation checks required for RTM including having all languages of that build completed. If all the validation checks have passed – sign-off for RTM can occur. Today after all the validation checks were met, we signed off and declared build 7600 as RTM.”

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The development process of the next iteration of the Windows-based operating system went like this:
- In January, Microsoft released Windows 7 Beta onto the web.
- In May, Microsoft rolled out the Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate). The operating system is still up for grabs and will remain available for download until August 15th.
- In the second half of July, Microsoft signed off Windows 7 RTM.
- On October 22nd Windows 7 will become generally available (Windows 7 GA) to the end-user.

Getting back to Windows 7 RTM, just because Microsoft officially confirmed the OS, this does not mean it is freely available for download like Windows 7 Beta and Windows 7 RC were. Getting your hands on Windows 7 RTM depends on who you are and on the timetable imposed by Microsoft.

Here is who and when can get Windows 7 RTM:

- ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) Partners
will get Windows 7 RTM via Microsoft Connect and MSDN on the 6th of August. On the same date MSDN subscribers will be able to download the RTM – this includes IT pros, developers, and anyone else with an MSDN subscription.

- Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will get Windows 7 RTM in English via the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal on August 16th.

- Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers will get Windows 7 RTM in English as of the 23rd of August. Additional languages will be provided as of the 1st of October.

- OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) will get Windows 7 RTM as an ISO image about 2 days after Microsoft announces the RTM.

- Volume License (VL) customers with an existing Software Assurance (SA) will get Windows 7 RTM in English as of August 7th via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). A few weeks later additional language support will be rolled out.

- Volume License (VL) customers without a Software Assurance (SA), as of September 1st, will be able to purchase Windows 7 via Volume Licensing.

The regular user will not be able to get Windows 7 RTM, he will have to wait for Windows 7 GA (General Availability) on the 22nd of October, 2009. I am of course speaking of official Windows 7 RTM downloads, because Windows 7 RTM is already available for download from unofficial sources (torrent sites mainly). If you do download Windows 7 RTM from torrent and warez sites, then check out Windows 7 ISO Verifier, a tool that validates the authenticity of your download.



Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7 RTM, Release To Manufacturing
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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