Almost everybody who care about Windows 7 probably already knew that . What’s not so certain is how early and how fast the privileged few can download the Microsoft officially released Windows 7 DVD ISO images and leak them to Internet for everybody else.
Although not yet officially announced, and is , and will RTM by July 24th, 2009.
has posted more precise information on when end-users will get Windows 7 RTM. The date of availability of Windows 7 RTM, , is depending on which category of your relationship with Microsoft is.
Windows 7 RTM Release Schedule
Partners & OEMs
ISV (Independent software vendor) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) Partners will be able to download Windows 7 RTM from Microsoft Connect or MSDN on August 6th.
Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English through the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal on August 16th. By October 1st, the remaining languages will become available to download.
Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers will be about to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 23rd. By October 1st, the remaining languages will become available to download.
OEMs will receive Windows 7 RTM software images beginning approximately 2 days after Windows 7 officially RTM.
Volume License (VL) customer with an existing Software Assurance (SA) license will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 7th via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). The rest of the languages for Windows 7 RTM should be available within a couple of weeks after that.
Volume License customers without a SA license will be able to purchase Windows 7 through Volume Licensing on September 1st.
IT Professionals with TechNet Subscriptions will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English on August 6th and remaining languages by October 1st.
Developers with MSDN Subscriptions will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English on August 6th and remaining languages by October 1st.
Beta Testers & Enthusiasts
No free copy of Windows 7 for beta testers unless they have a MSDN or TechNet subscription. If they have a valid subscription, they can download Windows 7 soon after RTM release. Also available is an evaluation of Windows 7 Professional for IT Professionals via the Springboard Series shortly after RTM.
Windows 7 will be in retail stores or shipping on new PCs starting 22nd October.
In other words, by time-line, the availability of Windows 7 will be released in phases similar to following timeline schedule:
Windows 7 Release Timeline
2 Days After RTM (July 24, 2009):
August 6, 2009: Windows 7 in English language for subscribers, and Microsoft Connect for ISV (Independent software vendor) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor).
August 7, 2009: Windows 7 English language version for Volume License (VL) customer with an existing Software Assurance (SA) license via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC)
August 16, 2009: Windows 7 RTM in English for Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members via Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal
August 23, 2009: Windows 7 RTM in English for Microsoft Action Pack subscribers
September 1, 2009: Volume License customers without a SA license can purchase Windows 7 through Volume Licensing
By October 1, 2009: All remaining language-specific Windows 7 RTM versions will be available through all channels.
October 22, 2009: General availability for public retail and preinstall on new PC
Update: MSDN Subscription blog has a new details on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 launch in terms of waves and languages. TechNet is expected to have the same schedule as MSDN. Here’s the brief summary:
Initial launch wave: Primarily English Client bits with some language packs, WAIKs, SDKs, DDKs, etc.
Second wave (a week or two later); French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese Client bits as well as Server 2008 R2 English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese bits.
Third wave (several weeks later): More languages added over time, as languages will be added to the site as they are released to the team.
The has also been published.
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