Update: The Windows 7 development team announced on their blog this afternoon that the operating system has been released to manufacturing (RTM). Windows 7 Build 7600 (7600.16385.090713-1255) has been signed off as the official RTM build. Windows Server 2008 R2 which was being developed in parallel also went RTM today.
Microsoft has confirmed it does plan to offer a “family pack” for Windows 7 Home Premium that can be used on up to three PCs. According a recent entry on the Windows Team Blog, the decision followed feedback from beta testers and enthusiasts over the last three years clamoring for “a better solution for homes with multiple PCs.” There’s no official word on pricing yet, although rumors and previously leaked information suggest it will sell for somewhere just under $150.
The blog posting also discussed the release to manufacturing process but did not offer any update on the exact timing of that stage. However, Microsoft provided more information when this final RTM code will make its way to certain customer groups.
TechNet and MSDN subscribers will be able to download English-language versions of the RTM code on August 6 (and remaining languages by October 1), while volume license customers with existing Software Assurance licenses can get the OS via the firm’s Volume License Service Center on August 7. Microsoft partner program gold-certified partners and Action Pack subscribers will be getting the code next, on August 16 and 23 respectively, and everybody else will have to wait until the official release on October 22.