Windows 7 RTM - Get the facts

My mailbag is brimming with emails relating to Windows 7 going RTM ... Here's what we know.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

My mailbag is brimming with emails relating to Windows 7 going RTM.

Here's what we know:

  • 22-07-2009-11-15-08.jpg
    We now have two major release dates: August 6th and October 22nd.
  • TechNet/MSDN subscribers will be able to download the English language version of Windows 7 RTM on August 6th, other languages will be available by October 1st.
  • General availability (GA) for consumers will be on October 22nd.
  • Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will be able to get the English language RTM via the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal on August 16th. Other languages to be available by October 1st.
  • Microsoft Action Pack will see the English language RTM by August 23rd, and remaining languages by October 1st.
  • Volume License (VL) customer already with a existing Software Assurance (SA) licensewill be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 7th through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). Other languages will go online within a couple of weeks.
  • Volume License customers without an existing SA license will have to wait until September 1st.
  • OEMs will start seeing RTM images about two days after the RTM code is finalized, so that could be by the end of the week.

Other FAQs:

  • Q: Do beta testers get a free copy? A: Nope. Apparently that 50% off pre-order deal was aimed at you.
  • Q: When will the RTM code be finalized? A: I'm not told that will happen today (Wednesday, July 22nd).
  • Q: Wasn't it supposed to RTM last week? A: There were rumors and speculation to that end, but it didn't happen.
  • Q: Any ideas why? A: I'm told that RTM was held up by the need to fix a number of little things.
  • Q: How different will RTM be compared to the RC release? A: Visually, not very different at all. The tweaks and fixes will be mostly under the hood.
  • Q: Can I stay with the RC release for now? A: Yes. Windows 7 RC doesn't expire until June 1st, 2010, but it starts that reboot every two hours thing on March 1st, 2010 so you might want to plan to be off it by then.

Any other questions? Pop them in the TalkBack area!

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