If you have downloaded the leaked 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate Retail RTM Build 7600.16384, do bear in mind that the build may not be the final build that been released to end users. Windows 7 Build 7600.16384 has been subjected to much speculation that whether it’s the final RTM build, where some people believes the minor build may be increased to 7600.16386 in order to match Windows Vista RTM, which also jumps from 5600.16384 of Windows Vista RC1 to 6000.16386.

In fact, the non-finalized yet of Windows 7 is almost certain with the denial announcement on Windows Team Blog. “We are close, but have not yet signed off on Windows 7.” Said Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager of Microsoft. “Just because a single build may have ‘leaked’ it does not signal the completion of a milestone such as RTM”, he continued.

However, weird part is that for Microsoft, RTM isn’t a single point in time. Instead, it’s the beginning of the next “process”for Windows 7.

At RTM our partners begin their final preparations for Windows 7, including testing and building images for new PCs. RTM is essentially the final “stage” of engineering for Windows 7 before it hits the market at General Availability (GA). As Steven notes, engineering continues on Windows 7 from RTM until GA on October 22nd.

Nonetheless, Windows 7 is expected to RTM in the second half of July. If the expected release date to Microsoft Partners through Connect, MSDN and TechNet on July 24 still hold, the RTM sign off must take place before or on July 23, 2009. Word is out by mspcbeta (the guy who leaks Windows 7 RTM Build 7600.16384) that Windows 7 RTM Build 7600.16385.win7_rtm.090713-1255 has been compiled on July 13, 2009, with another build expecting soon.

Update: Windows 7 Build 7600.16385 is the gold RTM code.

What is certain currently is that the major build number of 7600 for Windows 7 RTM should remain the same. However, the minor build number is anyone guess, with wild speculation of up to 7600.19000. It’s much the same way with Windows Vista SP2, where minor build version keep increasing from 6002.18001, 6002.18002
6002.18003, to 6002.18004 before been finalized and RTMed as 6002.18005 as development team ironed out the bugs.

With impending arrival of Windows 7 RTM, here’s little more Windows 7 information on how and when end-user can get Windows 7.

  • MSDN & TechNet Subscribers: Subscribers will be able to download the final version of Windows 7 a few weeks after Microsoft announces RTM.
  • Volume License (VL) Customers: As announced by Bill Veghte during his WPC09 keynote, Windows 7 will be available to Volume License customers 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.

Update: Official Windows 7 RTM Release and Availability Schedule

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