If, like me, you’re panting with lust to lay hands on a copy of Windows 7 RTM so you can start building production PCs using the latest — and indeed, possibly also the greatest — Windows ever, I may just be able to share some good news with you. Last Tuesday, indefatigable product marketing manager Brandon LeBlanc posted some very interesting information to his Windows 7 Blog. I’ll quote one section from that blog in full, because it covers the bases for most, if not all, of the readers of this enterprise desktop blog:
Once Windows 7 is complete, how do I get it?
The answer depends on who you are:
- MSDN & TechNet Subscribers: Subscribers will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 a few weeks after we announce RTM.
- Volume License (VL) Customers: Customers with Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 Enterprise a few weeks after we announce RTM. As announced today by Bill Veghte during his WPC09 keynote, customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 7 through Volume Licensing on September 1st.
- Consumers, Enthusiasts, & Beta Testers (Everyone else): The retail version of Windows 7 will be available in stores October 22nd. If you pre-ordered Windows 7, it should be delivered sometime around the October 22nd timeframe (depends on the retailer). You can pre-order Windows 7 today through many online retailers like the Microsoft Store.
- On New PCs: OEMs are expected to start shipping new PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed on them around October 22nd.
Of course, this begs the inevitable question “When will Windows 7 RTM be released?” All LeBlanc is willing to say in this blog, and all that Microsoft will tell anybody on the record is “When it’s ready.” Some time during or before the end of July looks pretty likely for the actual RTM itself, which means Windows RTM versions for those with the right subscriptions or volume license agreements (and OEMs, of course) some time during or before the middle of August. Or, as Jerry Pournelle would say “Real Soon Now.”