Windows 7 Has Been Released to Manufacturing

I am pleased to announce that Windows 7 has RTM’d!

As I mentioned previously, RTM officially happens only after sign-off occurs. 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.

Not only is RTM an important milestone for us – it’s also an important milestone for our partners. Today’s release is the result of hard work and collaboration with our partners in the industry to make Windows 7 a success. We delivered Windows 7 with a predictable feature set on a predictable timetable that allowed OEMs to focus on value and differentiation for their customers.

Our customers told us what they want (and expect) and we defined those specific experiences and then built features to support them (like HomeGroup and the Windows Taskbar enhancements). Our customers also told us that “fundamentals” on both the hardware and software side was extremely important. Windows 7 today runs great on the broadest array of hardware types ranging from netbooks to high-end gaming machines. We worked closely with OEMs so that their PCs delight customers with the new features in Windows 7.

Of course, today’s release is also the result of the amazing amount of feedback we received from the millions of people who tested Windows 7 – from Beta to RC. We actually had over 10 million people opt-in to the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). That’s a lot of people opting in to help us make Windows 7 a solid release. Through CEIP, our engineers were guided by customer feedback all the way to RTM. We also have had a great group of beta testers who have dedicated a great deal of their time to testing Windows 7 too. A special thank you goes out to all the people who helped test Windows 7.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my friends over on the Windows Server Team. Today they are also announcing that Windows Server 2008 R2 has RTM’d. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 together can help businesses cut costs and increase productivity. Click here to read their blog post on Windows Server 2008 R2 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. And going forward, I expect to be showcasing MANY of these new products here on The Windows Blog.

We continue to be overwhelmed at the community’s response to Windows 7 and it has been an extremely rewarding experience to witness. We hope the enthusiasm will continue to grow even more as our partners build amazing experiences with their products and Windows 7.

If you want to know when you’ll be able to get RTM of Windows 7, click here to read my post from yesterday outlining which audiences will get access to the RTM bits.

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