First Windows 7 RTM code available August 6

In an announcement late Tuesday afternoon, Microsoft product evangelist Brandon LeBlanc did not reveal the precise date in which Windows 7 would release to manufacturing. He did state, however, that the first availability of the final code will come Thursday, August 6, for independent software and hardware vendors, and also for MSDN and TechNet subscribers (English language version only).

Volume license customers will be next to see availability the following day, if they subscribe to Software Assurance (SA), said LeBlanc. Those without an SA license must wait until September 1 to download their copies.

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Gold certified partners will be next to download Windows 7 on August 16. Non-English language copies will be available on October 1. This news does mean that Microsoft's analysts' meeting scheduled for July 30 will likely be devoted to the Windows 7 RTM, which will very likely have happened by that date. OEMs will receive their copies of images for installation to new PCs beginning two days following RTM date, said LeBlanc, again without revealing the precise date.

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