It's finally done. Windows 7 has gone gold and has been released to manufacturing, reaching this long anticipated RTM status.
Windows communication manager Brandon LeBlanc explained in the team blog the RTM process: "What happens is a build gets designated as a RTM contender after going through significant testing and meeting our quality bar for RTM. Then, it goes though all the validation checks required for RTM including having all languages of that build completed. If all the validation checks have passed – sign-off for RTM can occur. Today after all the validation checks were met, we signed off and declared build 7600 as RTM."
"The RTM code will be delivered to our partners within the next few days who will then start preparing to deliver some amazing new products timed to hit at General Availability (GA) of Windows 7 on October 22nd," LeBlanc added.
Build 7600 first appeared on the internet during the weekend of July 10, leading many to speculate that the jump in version number indicated it was RTM. Then a few days later, a newer build of 7600 appeared, bringing with it whispers of RTM again. Microsoft did follow up with a comment on July 13, saying, "Just because a single build may have 'leaked' it does not signal the completion of a milestone such as RTM."
Microsoft employees made a celebratory video for this occasion. Check it out below!