A question being asked by many is, “When will Windows 7 Release To Manufacturing (RTM) and when will I be able to get Windows 7 RTM code?” Just today it was announced that Windows 7 has Released To Manufacturing! Today after all the validation checks were met, we signed off and declared build 7600 as RTM. In addition, some more clarity on when the various groups would have access to the Windows 7 RTM code was provided by the Windows 7 Team. Here is the information they shared:
For Partners & OEMs:
ISV (Independent software vendor) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) Partners will be able to download Windows 7 RTM from Microsoft Connect or MSDN on August 6th. There is already a lot of momentum from ISVs and IHVs in the ecosystem today for Windows 7 as Mike Nash blogged last week. If you are a partner who has been working on Windows 7 for a while, now is the time to complete your testing with final version of Windows 7. For partners that haven’t gotten started yet with Windows 7, now is the time to get involved. You can also visit www.readyset7.com to learn more about getting ready for Windows 7.
Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English through the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal on August 16th. By October 1st, the remaining languages will become available to download.
Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers will be about to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 23rd. By October 1st, the remaining languages will become available to download.
OEMs will receive Windows 7 RTM software images beginning approximately 2 days after we officially RTM, as a little time is required to release and distribute these images. This will allow them to begin preparing images for new PCs to ship with Windows 7 on them. We know our OEMs are excited for Windows 7 and we can’t wait to hand them the final RTM bits!
For Business Customers:
If you are a Volume License (VL) customer with an existing Software Assurance (SA) license you will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 7th via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). The rest of the languages for Windows 7 RTM should be available within a couple of weeks after that.
Volume License customers without a SA license will be able to purchase Windows 7 through Volume Licensing on September 1st as we announced last week at WPC09. Mark these dates on your calendar and start making your deployment plans!
For IT Professionals:
There are a few ways you can get Windows 7 RTM. IT Professionals with TechNet Subscriptions will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English on August 6th and remaining languages by October 1st.
IT Professionals at companies with Volume Licensing see above on how you can get Windows 7 RTM.
We have quite a bit of resources for IT Professionals to use to become experts on Windows 7 and to aid in their deployments. Those resources can be found at the Springboard Series.
Developers with MSDN Subscriptions will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English on August 6th and remaining languages by October 1st.
To help developers who are developing applications for Windows 7 or updating existing applications to take advantage of new Windows 7 features, check out the Windows 7 for Developers Blog. Also, be sure to check out the Windows 7 Developers Guide on MSDN. Oh and there are also some fantastic videos on Channel 9 too!
For Beta Testers & Enthusiasts:
A special thank you to our beta testers is needed for their time and effort in helping make Windows 7 a solid release. The special pre-order offer we did offering Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional at almost 50% discount was done with our beta testers in mind. And many of you jumped at the chance to take advantage of this deal – thank you!
I know there have been some rumors going around about a “family pack” for Windows 7. We have heard a lot of feedback from beta testers and enthusiasts over the last 3 years that we need a better solution for homes with multiple PCs. I’m happy to confirm that we will indeed be offering a family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium (in select markets) which will allow installation on up to 3 PCs. As I’ve said before, stay tuned to our blog for more information on this and any other potential offers.
Beta testers will not automatically receive a free copy of Windows 7. Many beta testers are already subscribers to TechNet; those of you who fit that description will be able to download Windows 7 RTM shortly after RTM happens for free as part of your subscription.
However, if you don’t have TechNet and are waiting for GA (to either purchase Windows 7 or wait for your pre-order to arrive) you can continue to use the RC. In fact, you can continue to use it until it expires on June 1st, 2010 (expiration actually starts March 1, 2010, this is when the reboots start).
While our special pre-order offer with the near 50% has ended, Windows 7 can still be pre-ordered today from the various online retailers (including the Microsoft Store).
We are also going to release an evaluation of Windows 7 Professional for IT Professionals via the Springboard Series shortly after RTM. Over 40% of beta testers are IT Professionals and this will allow them to quickly access the RTM code and plan for deployments.
Windows 7 will be in retail stores and shipping on new PCs starting October 22nd. If you pre-ordered Windows 7, it should be delivered sometime around the October 22nd timeframe (depends on the retailer).
Thank you to the Windows 7 Team for sharing the information above through the Blog post on the Windows 7 Team Blog.
Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Eric Ligman – Follow me on Global Partner Experience Lead Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights