Microsoft is getting very close to hitting RTM with Windows 7. Things aren't quite finished yet, but Microsoft is keener than ever to let us know how things are going.
One of the biggest questions is when those working with Microsoft will be able to get their hands on the RTM, and answer to that is that is variable, but most close partners should get it by August 6 – some sooner, some later, depending on who they are.
The key points from the Windows Team Blog are:
- 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 6.
- 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!
- 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.
- IT Professionals with TechNet Subscriptions will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English on August 6th and remaining languages by October 1st.
- Developers with MSDN Subscriptions will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English on August 6th and remaining languages by October 1st.
- Beta testers will not automatically receive a free copy of Windows 7.
- 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).