Microsoft today is celebrating the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc does the honors for Windows 7:
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.
I’m sure everyone involved is breathing a big sigh of relief and hoping that Vista will soon be a dim memory. LeBlanc earlier this week detailed all the many ways to get Windows 7, but for most consumers it will be in stores and on PCs on October 22 and for large enterprises with volume license agreements, it will be available August 7 for System Assurance customers and September 1 for the remainder.
As for the RTM of Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft’s Oliver Rist provides the details:
The acronym stands for Release to Manufacturing, and it means this latest release of Windows Server 2008 R2 is now blessed by engineering as ready for the manufacturing process. We’re talking final code. Sun shining, birds singing, children dancing in the streets.
With evaluation software available for download in the first half of August and the full product available to customers with Software Assurance in the second half of August, RTM is more than just an engineering milestone. Occurring in lock-step with the release of the Windows 7 RTM, these two platforms are now ready for our partners to start testing and installing on their hardware. And that lock-step isn’t a coincidence, it’s a design goal.
Follow the link for some feature highlights, but bear in mind that the R2 signifies that Windows Server 2008 R2 is a "minor" release. Still, it is Microsoft’s first 64-bit only Windows Server release, or for that matter first 64-bit only operating system.