Microsoft has announced this afternoon that Windows 7 has been released to manufacturing. In other words, Windows 7 development has wrapped up, and it'll now go on to PC manufacturers so they can prepare for October's Windows 7 launch.
According the Windows 7 Team Blog, the RTM is build 7600. The public beta was build 7000, and the release candidate was build 7100. Microsoft has also announced that Windows Server 2008 R2 has also reached RTM status.
"What happens is a build gets designated as a RTM contender after going through significant testing and meeting our quality bar for RTM," explains Brandon LeBlanc. "Then, it goes though all the validation checks required for RTM including having all languages of that build completed. If all the validation checks have passed -- sign-off for RTM can occur."
So what happens between now and October, you ask? Todd Weiss outlines when you'll be able to get your hands on Windows 7. Although the general consumer launch is on October 22, vendors and partners will get Windows 7 in the coming days. Volume License businesses with Software Assurance licenses will be able to download Windows 7 on August 7--about three weeks from now. MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to get Windows 7 on August 6. Also, if you're currently testing the release candidate, it'll work until July 2010.