About 9 days ago I wrote a post that asked Has Windows 7 Been Released to Manufacturing (RTM)? Of course the info that was flying around the web supported this but nothing was coming out of Redmond and Microsoft to confirm – or deny – what was happening with RTM. So the rumors continued to fly around the blogosphere and on Twitter.

That all slowed down significantly when Brandon LeBlanc, who runs the Microsoft Windows 7 Team Blog, posted his entry Update on Windows 7 RTM and explained that although they were close to RTM – it had in fact not happened yet.

So fast forward to today and we find a new post from Brandon on the Windows 7 Team Blog that now answers the question When will you get Windows 7 RTM?  In that post Brandon breaks down when various entities will get RTM via official channels from Microsoft:

  • Independent Software and Hardware Vendors will get it on Microsoft Connect or MSDN on 06 Aug 09.
  • Microsoft Partner Program Gold and Certified Members will grab it from the Microsoft Partner Portal on 16 Aug 09.
  • Action Pack Subscribers will have access on 23 Aug 09.
  • OEM’s will get Windows 7 images about 2 days after official RTM. Now this date is not officially mentioned in the post but do not automatically assume 06 Aug is the magical RTM date. I personally believe that milestone will come before the 6th of Aug based on it being available on that day for download by some people as mentioned in the post.
  • Business Customers with Volume Licenses and a Software Assurance license will have access on 07 Aug 09. If a Business Customer does not have a Software Assurance license then they can expect access on 01 Sep 09.
  • TechNet Subscribers will have access on 06 Aug 09.
  • Developers with MSDN subscriptions will gain access on 06 Aug 09.
  • Beta Testers will not automatically receive a free copy of Windows 7.

One piece of news in this post that is buried in the midst of all the explanations of when people can get the RTM is the fact that Microsoft is going to offer a Family Pack License for Windows 7 in select markets which will allow you to install on three computers. No mention of pricing or availability.

Brandon also mentions the expected availability of an evaluation version of Windows 7 Professional via their Springboard Series shortly after RTM.  I assume this might be a 120 day evaluation version like they have released of past Windows OS’s.  That 120 days would certainly get you from RTM to General Availability on 22 October 2009.

So I wonder how hard that version would be to either convert to a retail version via a serial number or downgrade to the upgrade version you purchased?