They're soup: Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 released to manufacturing

They're soup: Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 released to manufacturing

Summary: Windows 7 has been a tightly controlled product from its first days on the drawing board. The last milestone is proving to be no exception: On July 22, at precisely 4:40 p.m. ET, Microsoft announced it had released to manufacturing Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.


Windows 7 has been a tightly controlled product from its first days on the drawing board. The last milestone is proving to be no exception: On July 22, at precisely 4:40 p.m. ET, Microsoft announced it had released to manufacturing Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

(What's up with the weird hand-off time? It seems to be designed to coincide with CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote address for Microsoft's 13,000 or so field sales folks who are in Atlanta this week for the MGX conference. Unfortunately, the MGX folks are running late and Ballmer wasn't yet speaking at 4:40... oh well.)

The Windows builds that are being released to manufacturing today were compiled over a week ago, on Monday July 13, company officials confirmed. Specifically, it's build 7600.16385 that is the RTM version of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

There's not much new left to say about either product. Very little has changed between the Release Candidate builds that went to the public in May and the RTM versions, testers who've been dabbling with leaked copies of the 16835 build say.

(Check out all of ZDNet's Windows 7 coverage via our Special Report page. And if you are all about Windows Server, check out my colleague Jason Perlow's coverage of the RTM of Windows Server 2008 R2 here.)

While Microsoft did a bunch of tuning and final testing in the last month-plus, the final Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 products won't be very different from the last build testers saw, officials said. Microsoft's intention was to keep the code base stable so that partners and customers could start testing on it months before the products went to manufacturing, officials said. While some testers welcomed that dependability, others were less-enamored of going to the trouble of testing with the feeling their input was going to make little difference.

PC makers will get the official bits from Microsoft by the end of this week, as Microsoft officials said yesterday. Those who want to download the official builds from Microsoft won't be able to do so for another week plus (depending on whether you have an MSDN/TechNet, volume-license agreement or some other way of getting the bits earlier than the general availability date of October 22).

Speaking of October 22, that is the date Microsoft is considering to be its worldwide consumer launch of Windows 7. There will be a bunch of new hardware that has yet to be seen from a variety of manufacturers that will be preloaded with Windows 7 available on that date, said Mike Angiulo, General Manager of Microsoft's Planning and PC Ecosystem team. (No word still on whether Microsoft will hold a single big launch, like it did with Vista in New York; I hear company officials are leaning away from going that route.)

The "business launch" of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is slated for November 9, officials said. (Actually, it's going to be a triple-play launch of Win7/Win Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010, as Microsoft told its partners attending the Worldwide Partner Conference last week.) It sounds as if there will be a number of business launch events starting on that date and continuing for the next couple of months.

"This will be our first ever launch of Windows client and server together," said Angiulo. (Microsoft came close a couple of times, but there was always some gap between the two.) And Microsoft is planning to emphasize the "better together" theme in its upcoming marketing and sales collateral.

This is also the first time "we haven't doubled systems requirements for a new Windows release," Angiulo said. " We kept them the same, if not even a little better," in terms of power, graphics, hard drive and other requirements, he said.

Angiulo characterized Windows 7 as a "learning release" for Microsoft, in terms of working more closely with its hardware and software partners. He gave the Windows team high marks for its processes with the newly minted client and server releases.

"We set rigorous engineering milestones and hit them. we did what we said we were going to do," he said.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Servers, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Well, I for one would like to congratulate Microsoft and the Win7 team

    They've pulled off quite the coup - Win7 and Server 2008 R2 are fantastic products that are going to make quite a difference in the market.

    Well done MS on what is, quite possibly, the best run software development project in the company's history.
    • It's simple de-void...

      ...they just fired the whole Vista team and rehired the XP crowd.

      But besides die hard techies, 7 has a steeper curve than Vista.

      Of course, Microsoft knows nothing about smooth transitions and will repeat Vista's errors again, strong arming it in every new PC and laptop release, except, well.... the netbooks, which will still remain safe haven... except some useless CULV and ULCL... competing in the high end...
      • Silly clueless tard...

        Windows 7 is still essentially Windows. It takes maybe 5 - 10 minutes to learn how to use the new task bar and start menu. 15 if you're really, REALLY SLOW.

        The rest of the interface isn't all that much different from Vista. Nor, if you really look a it hard enough, all that much different from XP. Most of the changes acutally make things EASIER for the average bear to find.

        And you might want to open your eyes and do a bit of reading - Windows 7 runs on most common netbooks - even if they're a bit underpowered and underequipped...
      • Idiot

        And just how is it a steeper curve than Vista??

        Driver/hardware support better than either XP or Vista (better than OS X in fact), increased ability to tweak and customise, everything well laid out, etc.

        Keep the comments to topics you actually know something about!!
    • I second that

      On the generic PC there is nothing that comes close to it; going to
      upgrade my parents computer to it; I'm happy with Snow Leopard and
      how it is looking but I were an existing Vista user, I'd upgrade to
      Windows 7 immediately.

      Office 2010 is also looking really good and will compliment it; I do have a
      feeling though that 2010 will be Windows Vista and 7 only, so those still
      hugging onto Windows XP better get used to being a second class citizen
      in the future.
    • Longhorn Lets go round the mulbury bush solo

      Crazy as it sounds i to like s2k8 i think.

      Even though the gurus out there can take potshots at it because of no doubt relevant reasons in a lot of cases i shall remain
      neutral mainly due to knowing nothing in comparison.

      My novice attempts at bench testing LH
      were nothing mil spec but the gui side
      of things was nice and seemingly well featured.

      What interests me in this beast is the improved
      security to the point were mac and win servers
      are no longer talking to each other.

      NTLMV2 has always been a nightmare in this respect hopefully OS X Server and Server
      2k8 can talk to each other again out of the box !

      Maybe they allready do i havent been keeping track?

      Oh boy waiting for the shoes headin my way
      Bye !
  • Now get WM7 out the door . . .

    While W7 should be well received and finally put the
    Vista boogie man in the closet, M$ needs to get WM7 out
    the door. Be that as it may, congratulations to everyone
    at M$ who worked on W7.
    • Abslutely! :) And ...

      ... Dev10, SQL 2010, Office 2010, XBox fall '09 refresh, Natal, ... ;)
  • So let it be let it be done!

    So let it be let it be done!
  • RE: They're soup: Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 released to manufacturing

    I like the Windows 7 RTM build number. 16385 = 2^14 + 1 = 2^(2 * 7) + 1 = 4^7 + 1

    AND using the digits in 2^14 2+1+4 = 7.

    AND 16385 / 7 = 2340.714285714285714285714285714...

    Even the repeating digits start with 7.

    Cue the conspiracy theories!
  • A man could die

    on a diet of soup.

    And a computer could die
    on a diet of Microsoft.
    Ole Man
    • Well in that case...'s you a gift certificate, good for $1000 worth of Campbells Soup.
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • LOL ... nt

    • uh huh...

      [i]A man could die on a diet of soup.

      And a computer could die on a diet of Microsoft.[/i]

      Cute. Of course a man could die on a diet of water, or Bread.

      And a computer could die on a diet of any OS. It's a computer.

      Thanks for the obvious!
    • And a man could die...

      ...of bordom reading the useless posts on ZDnet. If you don't have something useful to say (and I'm talking to you fanboys too), keep it to yourself. There was a time back in the late 90's when I turned to ZD (and its ZDTV) for high quality technical information. My, how times have changed.
      • Did you forget how to click to the next frame?

        Or did your computer freeze up on this one?
        Ole Man
      • Not happy as implied

        Oh dear you seem to have forgotten were you are.

        Want tech talk just read the technet articles

        No one forced you at gunpoint to read the talkback section.

        Rowwwwwr seriously retract those claws.

        Theres also countless other places you can OD on all your tech talk acronisation of nations.

        Late 90's gee wiz thats like saying well there was no where near as much banter on the internet when all we had was dialup or ISDN at best and BBS's and Terminal eyeish.

        Oh and who can forget WorldGroup Manager software Ohhhhhh them were the days !!!

        Not !!! just be gratefull that browsers aren't
        like IE3 or 4 anymore then you'd have something to whinge about.

        In case you haven't noticed these are places
        were people converse regardless of the subject matter in a lot of cases things wander.

        Cripes do you go calling talkback radio stations telling the other callers to please
        stick to the subject matter and so on ?

        Wow life of the party stuff this lol.

        Everybody clear of cos sooky la la's eyes are
        getting tired from sorting chaff.

        1 2 3


        And on that "happy" note i shall depart.
    • Soup scare product recall

      Persons who purchased MS chunky before 22 July and after July 21 2009 are advised to return it imediatly to the place of purchase as it may contain sections of code which if ingested could be a choking hazard.
  • Congrats MS

    On an extraordinary product. Can't wait for Oct 22nd!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: They're soup: Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 released to manufacturing

    The thing to note is that the leaked RTM build that is circulating on the internet is 100% unmodified Microsoft code minus the bootable ISO image code which the scene releasers will only be able to lay their hands on once it hits MSDN or Technet. The bootable copy circulating on the internet may need not be an exact ISO image of the copy that went to manufacturing on DVDs.