windows 7 rev v The RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version of Windows 7 is now available for download to MSDN and TechNet subscribers!  I know I’ll be spending the weekend refreshing my machines.

Also available as of yesterday is the RC version of Windows XP Mode.  XP Mode is a Virtual PC image of XP Service Pack 3 that owners of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate can download free of charge from Microsoft.  With XP Mode, you can continue to run those business-critical applications that aren’t yet Windows 7-ready in a ‘transparent’ XP shell on the Windows 7 desktop, thus providing the best of both worlds for your end-user: exposure to the great new features of Windows 7 and uninterrupted availability of legacy applications.

If you’re not an MSDN or TechNet subscriber, Windows 7 is set to ship on new PCs and be available in stores on October 22nd.  You can pre-order copies on-line from vendors such as the Microsoft Store.  If you’re in ‘back-to-school’ buying mode now though, you don’t have to wait; if you purchase a PC now from selected OEMs you can upgrade to Windows 7 for a nominal charge (varies depending on vendor).  Check out the Windows 7 Upgrade Offer for more details.