Engineering Windows 7

Welcome to our blog dedicated to the engineering of Microsoft Windows 7

Our Next Engineering Milestone: RTM

Our Next Engineering Milestone: RTM

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Today marks an important milestone in the Windows 7 project. The Windows 7 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we have started to release Windows 7 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next major milestone will be the availability of PCs loaded with Windows 7 and store shelves stocked with Windows 7 on October 22, 2009.

This is a milestone we could not have achieved without the broad participation across the PC Ecosystem we have talked so much about on this blog. Windows 7 is a product not just of Microsoft, but of a whole industry of partners of all kinds. Throughout the development of Windows 7 we’ve seen an incredible engagement from so many people that have contributed to making the Windows 7 engineering project one we, collectively, feel good about. The feedback and collaboration throughout the development of Windows 7 has been outstanding and valuable beyond measure. This work has created the kind of experience so many of you have talked about in this blog—the ability to use a broad range of PC hardware and peripherals with a great setup and out of box experience. On behalf of the Windows team and all of the successful installations and device connections, please let me extend an incredible “thank you” to all of our hardware partners who have done such excellent work.

Windows 7 has also been one of the most broadly and deeply tested releases of software we have ever had. Starting with a pre-beta in October of 2008 with a few thousand developers using Windows 7 at the earliest stages, through the Beta, and then the Release Candidate in May when we have had millions of people successfully running the product (and many on multiple PCs). As we have discussed in this forum, the ongoing depth usage of Windows 7 along with the breadth and variety of hardware and software configurations has provided (and will continue to provide) the key tools to make sure we continue to deliver ever-improving Operating System quality.

In developing Windows 7 we also set out to have a great dialog with you, perhaps our strongest critics and our biggest supporters. We know you expect a lot from Windows 7 and you demand a lot from the team that builds your OS. This blog has helped to bring significant issues and important decisions to light and we have debated them—here and elsewhere. Along the way we have definitely learned a lot about working together and also about many specific issues that are important to you. We have worked hard to find the right balance across many diverse points of view and we hope you share our feeling that we’ve done a good job at being open, honest, and transparent in how we have approached engineering Windows 7. The conversations we had on this blog have been a memorable part of developing Windows 7 and in our hallways, in Redmond and around the world, we’ve spent collectively thousands of hours discussing and acting on the feedback you have provided here.

While we have reached our RTM Milestone, no software project is ever really “done”. We will continue to monitor and act on the real world experience with Windows 7—we’ve used the Beta and RC process to test out our servicing and we have every intent of doing a great job on this important aspect of the product. Hardware partners will continue to provide new devices and improve support for existing devices. PC makers no doubt have quite a bit in store for all of us as they begin to show off PCs specifically designed for Windows 7’s new APIs and features. Software developers will have lots of new software to show off as well. All of this is yet to come and is very exciting.

Software projects on the scale of Windows are pretty rare and our team has a lot of pride, and as we have said so many times, is humbled by the responsibility. We are going to continue to learn and continue to improve how we engineer our products, with the aim of being the very best engineers we can be and delivering the very best OS for the world’s varied customers. Being an engineer is about learning and that learning comes from the experience gained in designing and delivering each release. Together we’ve learned and together we’ve engineered a wonderful product.

We know there are lots of questions about how to get Windows 7 and when, and of course more questions to come about exploring and using the full set of Windows 7 features. Our Windows Team Blog today has posted a lot of new information and gathered up some important details that we hope will answer your questions. Please check our blog and stay in touch on the in-market developments of Windows 7 there.

The final few minutes before RTM are a sign-off process where each and every team that contributed to Windows formally commits to having successfully executed the work necessary for the product to be in the release process. We gather one last time (for Windows 7) in the “Ship Room” and a representative from each team signs (literally) and signifies their team’s readiness for manufacturing. We thought we’d share this moment with you here today.

On behalf of the Windows 7 engineering team we want to thank you very much for your contributions throughout development and your contributions yet to come to Windows 7. THANK YOU!

Next stop, October 22, 2009!

--The Windows 7 team

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  • I continue to love the RC and and will be glad to get a hold of the final. Great work, and *huge* thanks for maintaining such a wonderful blog.

    Congratulations. :)

  • Today is a special day, so no complaints from me. Congratulations Microsoft! RTMing client and server on the same day is freaking awesome! Microsoft, can you put a list of minor changes from RC to RTM? Also do you know when the Windows Feedback Program participants will get their copy of Windows 7 Ultimate?

  • Congratulations Windows Team. You did a wonderful job & this blog has been a exiting place to get insight into the development process all the way.

  • Congrats Windows 7 team!..

    You all have done a wonderful job..& its really exciting that people (including my frnds whom i showed it during Beta stage itself) started to like it very much.

    Fast, Compatibility, Robustness will be key success. Congrats again!

  • Congratulations for the whole team for making such a good release. It's almost unreal for me to see a new OS from Microsoft with system requirements same as the previous version - good job!

  • And one more thing: the preorder program was very, very limited: both in terms of quantity and the countries it was launched in. If it was meant to be a "thank you" for the people who helped to test it, then based on the country availability there were only testers from US, Canada, UK and Japan ;)

  • Congratulations to RTM. Windows7 is the best version of Windows so far.

    But makes me sad. There are still many inconsitencies left in the UI. I hope you take care of that in the next Windows version.

  • Most important thing for me is what has changed (any minor changes) between RC and RTM. Please let us know that. Also, why doesn't Microsoft include any goodies on the Windows disc any more like there used to be for Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP (resource kit/value added/support tools) ? Lastly, I too would like to know when the Windows Feedback Program participants will be getting their Ultimate copies.


    Thank you !!

  • Congratulations.

    It would be very nice though if there were some follow up blog posts about things that didn't make the cut. Maybe also show some of the design process, what UIs were weeded out by Q&A. Some retrospection on the process going from Vista to 7.

    With your telemetry data you should be able to have a clue about hardware and software problems to watch out for in the field. To give it a positive spin you could show the process a hardware manufacturer goes through with Microsoft to go from a problem driver to a good functioning one.

    I believe now showing a good 'after care' for the RTM build is key to the success of your product.

  • @RonV

    Thanks for the link, roll on august 6th.

    Like a lot of others have asked will there be a list of what was fixed/improved between RC and RTM just so I have the full skinny when I start dealing with my clients who want to know why to buy it!

    Already have an elderly client using the RC and she is well impressed with it! She has pre-ordered the final version.


  • please make sure IHV don'T put loads of crapware on top of this capable OS, no more 1month free symantec PLEASE... it is ruining the pc experience :/

  • @tryon

    You're referring to OEMs I believe. (I'm just being picky...)


    I would say that x64 bit processors are the future... but saying that x86 is a thing of the past is probably a call for Micrsoft's telemetry to make.

    Anyway, congratulations on the RTM. I too hope to see a changelog of some sort. Hopefully including details from the type "Windows Update is now pinned to the start menu by default" or "3 new themes (A, B and C)" or "Menu X is now accessible from Y, as well as its former location - Z".

  • Congrats Guys.. you guys Rock!!

  • Steven, I just want to say thank you for being so open with the Windows 7 process. Because you were, millions of us have been able to test Windows 7, and it seems like this is the most user-friendly, enthusiast tested OS ever. Congrats on hitting RTM, and I hope that Windows 8 development is as open and honest as Win7 development was. Thanks for listening to us.

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