Windows 7 general availability is getting closer, and Microsoft has made available more information regarding the launch and release roadmap schedule of Windows 7. Generally, Windows 7 will be generally available for retail purchase on stores worldwide and available as OEM pre-installed OS starting from October 22nd, 2009. Do note that Windows Server 2008 R2, which shares the same code base, will have similar release schedule and roadmap.
NOTE: This article has been UPDATED to Windows 7 Consolidated Information and FAQ
However, not all language versions of Windows 7 will be available on zero launch day. However, contrary to previous roadmap that saw up to 8 waves of release, all languages available for Windows 7 will be released in 2 batches only.
October 22, 2009: 14 languages – English, Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Chinese (Hong Kong)
October 31, 2009: Remaining 21 languages – Turkish, Czech, Portuguese, Hungarian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, Ukrainian, Romanian, Arabic, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Thai, Croatian, Serbian Latin, and Latvian.
Tech ARP clams there will be 4 waves of release of Windows 7 public retail general availability (GA) at much earlier date instead:
October 22, 2009 (Wave 0): Brazilian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional (Hong Kong), Chinese Traditional (Taiwan), Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese,
Russian, Spanish, Turkish
October 23, 2009 (Wave 1 Release): Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Swedish
October 24, 2009 (Wave 2 Release): Arabic, Bulgarian, Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Ukrainian
October 25, 2009 (Wave 3 Release): Croatian, Latvian, Serbian Latin
Windows 7 SKU or Edition Available: Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate. Most end-users will be selecting between Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate though. On top of usual Windows 7 K, N and KN editions, Windows 7 will also release a special SKU of Windows 7 E edition for European countries, where no Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) will be included. Windows 7 E will be selling at promotional upgrade pricing for full version edition before December 31, 2009, as upgrade SKU is not available yet, although direct upgrade from Windows Vista is not supported.
Refer to Windows 7 features comparison chart to know the differences between functions and features available in different editions of Windows 7. If you don’t really understand what a feature means, all features of Windows 7 has also been showcased.
Retail customers who intend buy or purchase a licensed copy of Windows 7 can refer to Windows 7 pricing details to get an idea on how much Windows 7 new full package and upgrade version license is. Windows 7 pre-order discount promo offer is also available, which entitles end-users to up to 58% of discount without the need of coupon code.
US: Windows 7 Home Premium ($49.99) and Windows 7 Professional ($99.99)
Canada: Windows 7 Home Premium ($64.99) and Windows 7 Professional ($124.99)
Japan: Windows 7 Home Premium (¥7,407) and Windows 7 Professional (¥14,073)
UK: Windows 7 Home Premium (£49.99) and Windows 7 Professional (£99.99)
France and Germany: Windows 7 Home Premium (€49.99) and Windows 7 Professional (€109.99)
Before October 22nd, 2009, it’s impossible to order a PC, be it desktop or notebook/laptop computer with Windows 7 pre-installed. If you must buy a PC before October 22nd, 2009 (or accidentally buy a Windows Vista computer before January 31st, 2010), Microsoft has Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program that entitles new Windows Vista PCs free upgrade to Windows 7 when the later is officially released. Just check that the computer manufacturer is participating in the free upgrade program, and the license has eligible upgrade path.
Not only for end-user consumers, Microsoft is also extending Windows 7 promotion to corporate users, where they can receive a 15% discount on Open Software Assurance or Open Value Software Assurance attached to new PCs equipped with Windows Vista Business, which automatically entitles to rights to Winodws 7 when it’s released. The offer has to redeem and purchase by August 31, 2009. More information at microsoftincentives.com.
Windows 7 users with less-premium edition of Windows 7 (not Windows 7 Ultimate) is also allowed to upgrade to higher edition through Windows Anytime Upgrade (WAU), a quick and easy upgrade process by simply purchasing an upgrade key to unlock additional features. Other than usual Windows Anytime Upgrade link contains in installed Windows 7 operating system, Windows Anytime Upgrade retail box may be available too.
Microsoft has also published Windows 7 Upgrade Test Matrix which shows which upgrade paths are supported and not supported by Windows 7. However, one interesting note is that Microsoft has privately stated that activated Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) can be upgrade directly to Windows 7 RTM by using an Windows 7 upgrade disk without having to reinstall older operating system. However, do note that it’s a convenient provided for Windows 7 upgrade license holder only, as it’s not in-place upgrade, but a clean custom install, where all existing operating system, programs and data are squirreled away in a folder labeled WINDOWS.OLD.
Windows 7 RTM is expected to be
build 7600 build 7600.16385. The final Windows 7 RTM is expected to make available for free downloads on Microsoft Connect, MSDN and TechNet on July 24, 2009, although officially, the availability of Windows 7 final RTM on MSDN and TechNet will be a “few weeks later”.
Schedule on who’s going to get Windows 7 RTM on when:
- OEM and system builders: 2 days after Windows 7 RTM (expected July 24, 2009).
- MSDN and TechNet Subscribers: August 6, 2009 for Windows 7 RTM English with the rest by October 1, 2009.
MSDN Downloads channel is applicable for ISV (Independent software vendor) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) Partners, who can also access via Microsoft Connect.
- Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members: Windows 7 RTM in English through the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal on August 16th, with the remaining languages by October 1st.
- Volume License (VL) Customers: 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.
- Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers: Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 23rd with the remaining languages by October 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 time frame (depends on the retailer).
- On New PCs: OEMs are expected to start shipping new PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed on them around October 22nd.
Windows 7 Server (Windows Server 2008) and Client Release Roadmap
RTM Escrow: June 1 to 19, 2009
RTM Recall: June 22 to July 10, 2009
RTM Final Build Target (Gold Code): July 10, 2009
RTM Sign-Off: July 13, 2009
Official RTM: July 16-17, 2009
Official Release to OEM: Early August of 2009
Official Release to Retail: October 22, 2009
Windows 7 win7_rtm Branch Build List
6.1.7268.0.win7_rtm.090701-1900 (Windows Server 2008 R2 Leaked)
Build List on Windows 7 WinMain Branch
Build List on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 winmain_sp Branch
All Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SKU that is available for US English (other languages should have similar SKU) with build version 6.1.7600.16384.win7_rtm.090710-1945.
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