Microsoft put rumors about the availability of Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing) to rest in a blog post late yesterday. Despite reports that Microsoft would finish Windows 7 yesterday (July 13), that is not the case.
Microsoft marketing manager Brandon LeBlanc writes that Windows 7 is close to RTM but is still finalizing it in some languages and waiting for all its partners to test and build images for new PCs. Windows 7 is expected to RTM in the next couple weeks.
Windows 7 Bible: Your Complete Guide to the Next Version of Windows
“We are close, but have not yet signed off on Windows 7 … As previously stated, we expect Windows 7 to RTM in the 2nd half of July,” writes LeBlanc.
LeBlanc goes on to answer a handful of FAQs about Windows 7 RTM. Some key answers.
- MSDN and TechNet Subscribers will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 a few weeks after RTM is announced.
- Volume License Customers will be able to get Windows 7 on Sept. 1 (As announced yesterday during Bill Veghte’s keynote at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans).
- Everyone else will get the retail version of Windows 7 in stores on Oct. 22. If you pre-ordered Windows 7, it should be mailed to you sometime around the Oct. 22 timeframe (it depends on the retailer).
- On New PCs, OEMs are expected to start shipping new PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed on Oct. 22.
- Users can continue to use Windows 7 RC (release candidate) until it expires on June 1, 2010. “In-place” (or direct) upgrades from the Windows 7 RC to RTM will not be supported. Users will be required to do a “clean install.”
- MSDN and TechNet subscribers, as well as Volume License customers, will have access to product keys when Windows 7 is made available to them. Product keys for Windows 7 RTM will be different than the product keys used for Windows 7 Beta and the release candidate. Windows 7 Beta or RC product keys WILL NOT work with Windows 7 RTM.
- “Leaked” builds of Windows 7 are not the final version of Windows 7 RTM and are likely to be laced with malicious code.
- As for getting a 64-bit copy of Windows 7, all copies of Windows 7 in developed markets will ship with both 32-bit and 64-bit DVDs. With Windows Vista, the 64-bit version was only available with Windows Vista Ultimate.
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