Windows 7 RTM… nearly there

We’ve known for a while now that Windows 7 release to manufacturing (RTM) will be in the second half of July and we’re well into that timeframe now. Some people expected an RTM announcement at last week’s Worldwide Partner Conference and, looking at the Windows 7 events that are lined up for the next couple of weeks in the UK, I’d wondered if it might be last Friday or yesterday but still no news.

All of that is kind of irrelevant really as, a few minutes ago, the Windows Team Blog carried a post which tells us when to expect to get our hands on the RTM code.

General availability remains 22 October 2009 but here are some of the other key dates:

  • Approx 2 days after official RTM – OEMs will receive Windows 7 RTM software images.
  • 6 August 2009 – Windows 7 RTM English available to Microsoft TechNet and MSDN subscribers.
  • 7 August 2009 – Windows 7 RTM English available to Volume License customers with Software Assurance (SA) – other languages to follow within a couple of weeks.
  • 16 August 2009 – Windows 7 RTM English available to Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members via the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal.
  • 23 August 2009 – Windows 7 RTM English available to Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers.
  • 1 September 2009 – Windows 7 RTM available to Volume License customers without SA.
  • By 1 October 2009 – non-English versions of Windows 7 RTM available to Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members, Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers, Microsoft TechNet subscribers and MSDN subscribers.
  • Around 22 October 2009 – Windows 7 pre-orders shipped.

For beta testers looking for a discount… that was the pre-order offer (that sold out so quickly last week) and there will be no free licenses (unlike for some of the Vista beta testers a few years back). There will also be a family pack for Windows 7 Home Premium in certain markets allowing for installation on up to 3 PCs.

From these dates I think we can say that RTM is imminent. For those who are running the release candidate, it will continue to function until 1 June 2010 (with periodic reboots starting three months earlier) but rebuilding onto RTM code is recommended in order to become licensed and supported.

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