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RTM Milestone: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008

Microsoft popped the champagne corks in Redmond today by announcing that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have both reached the "release to manufacturing" (RTM) stage.

Essentially, an RTM launch day means that Microsoft has baked the final changes into its operating systems. Redmond will now start providing images of those OSes to its partners for integration into various products.

Microsoft is calling the RTM versions "build 7600." This build will be available to Microsoft's partners "within the next few days," according to Microsoft's Windows 7 blog.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of PCs and server hardware will be the first partners to receive the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM images. Those partners will get it "beginning approximately 2 days after we officially RTM," according to the blog, which possibly means this Friday.

For the many other partners itching to get their hands on the RTM, most will have to wait until next month. Microsoft has provided a detailed schedule describing the availability of the RTM, based on the partner type, which can be accessed here.

Subscribers to Microsoft's professional services will be able to get the RTM OSes as early as next month. Downloads will be available for both TechNet and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers on Aug. 6 in English. Those wanting the RTM in other languages have to wait until Oct. 1 to download it.

The general public can still expect to see Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 products coming to market on Oct. 22, although the server should be available slightly earlier, Microsoft says. Those who preordered Windows 7 under a discount offer will get the OS on Oct. 22. That discount offer ended on July 11 in the United States and Canada.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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