Our Next Engineering Milestone: RTM

Today marks an important milestone in the Windows 7 project. The Windows 7 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we have started to release Windows 7 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next major milestone will be the availability of PCs loaded with Windows 7 and store shelves stocked with Windows 7 on October 22, 2009.

This is a milestone we could not have achieved without the broad participation across the PC Ecosystem we have talked so much about on this blog. Windows 7 is a product not just of Microsoft, but of a whole industry of partners of all kinds. Throughout the development of Windows 7 we’ve seen an incredible engagement from so many people that have contributed to making the Windows 7 engineering project one we, collectively, feel good about. The feedback and collaboration throughout the development of Windows 7 has been outstanding and valuable beyond measure. This work has created the kind of experience so many of you have talked about in this blog—the ability to use a broad range of PC hardware and peripherals with a great setup and out of box experience. On behalf of the Windows team and all of the successful installations and device connections, please let me extend an incredible “thank you” to all of our hardware partners who have done such excellent work.

Windows 7 has also been one of the most broadly and deeply tested releases of software we have ever had. Starting with a pre-beta in October of 2008 with a few thousand developers using Windows 7 at the earliest stages, through the Beta, and then the Release Candidate in May when we have had millions of people successfully running the product (and many on multiple PCs). As we have discussed in this forum, the ongoing depth usage of Windows 7 along with the breadth and variety of hardware and software configurations has provided (and will continue to provide) the key tools to make sure we continue to deliver ever-improving Operating System quality.

In developing Windows 7 we also set out to have a great dialog with you, perhaps our strongest critics and our biggest supporters. We know you expect a lot from Windows 7 and you demand a lot from the team that builds your OS. This blog has helped to bring significant issues and important decisions to light and we have debated them—here and elsewhere. Along the way we have definitely learned a lot about working together and also about many specific issues that are important to you. We have worked hard to find the right balance across many diverse points of view and we hope you share our feeling that we’ve done a good job at being open, honest, and transparent in how we have approached engineering Windows 7. The conversations we had on this blog have been a memorable part of developing Windows 7 and in our hallways, in Redmond and around the world, we’ve spent collectively thousands of hours discussing and acting on the feedback you have provided here.

While we have reached our RTM Milestone, no software project is ever really “done”. We will continue to monitor and act on the real world experience with Windows 7—we’ve used the Beta and RC process to test out our servicing and we have every intent of doing a great job on this important aspect of the product. Hardware partners will continue to provide new devices and improve support for existing devices. PC makers no doubt have quite a bit in store for all of us as they begin to show off PCs specifically designed for Windows 7’s new APIs and features. Software developers will have lots of new software to show off as well. All of this is yet to come and is very exciting.

Software projects on the scale of Windows are pretty rare and our team has a lot of pride, and as we have said so many times, is humbled by the responsibility. We are going to continue to learn and continue to improve how we engineer our products, with the aim of being the very best engineers we can be and delivering the very best OS for the world’s varied customers. Being an engineer is about learning and that learning comes from the experience gained in designing and delivering each release. Together we’ve learned and together we’ve engineered a wonderful product.

We know there are lots of questions about how to get Windows 7 and when, and of course more questions to come about exploring and using the full set of Windows 7 features. Our Windows Team Blog today has posted a lot of new information and gathered up some important details that we hope will answer your questions. Please check our blog and stay in touch on the in-market developments of Windows 7 there.

The final few minutes before RTM are a sign-off process where each and every team that contributed to Windows formally commits to having successfully executed the work necessary for the product to be in the release process. We gather one last time (for Windows 7) in the “Ship Room” and a representative from each team signs (literally) and signifies their team’s readiness for manufacturing. We thought we’d share this moment with you here today.

On behalf of the Windows 7 engineering team we want to thank you very much for your contributions throughout development and your contributions yet to come to Windows 7. THANK YOU!

Next stop, October 22, 2009!

--The Windows 7 team

Comments (67)
  1. would’ve been even better if you didn’t upload a widescreen 4:3 video with blackbars

  2. pdileepa says:

    Congrats! Without doubt, the best Windows release ever.

  3. wguimb says:

    Super duper congratulations Windows 7 team!!!!!!  You have exceeded all my expectations with this premiere product.  I am looking forward to seeing all my family and friends totally freak out when they get a new computer with Windows 7 after October 22nd.  Awesome job folks!

  4. dotnet@sivill.com says:


    Brilliant news, just one question, when will it be on MSDN!!??

    Looks to be the best Windows yet!


  5. RonV says:

    Congrats to the entire Windows 7 Team. Good Job.


    If you find yourself in a deep hole, you need to quit digging!  :))

  6. RonV says:


    All of the availability dates are posted here:

    When will you get Windows 7 RTM? – Windows 7 Team Blog – The Windows Blog:



  7. gorrilla-game says:

    Great job.

    Now can you start work on the product we really want?  A Windows 7 port for ARM based netbooks/smartbooks?

    That’s the future. X86 is the past.

  8. sushovande says:

    Woot! Woot! Congratulations to Win7 team!

  9. Xenicus says:


    … now if you could only put the topics of this blog into a  book called ‘Engineering Windows 7’, (and perhaps some other tasty tit-bits) I’d be first in the queue to buy it 🙂

    Excellent job well done… and thanks for being more open and transparent with us this time – must appreciated

  10. aludanyi says:


    "X86 is the past."

    I heard that some 20 years ago… but back then there was M68xxx, PowerPC, etc. instead of ARM, and years later here we are with a 64bit x86 dominating the world from netbooks to supercomputers…

  11. oggyb says:

    Must be a big relief to finally "sign off" on something so massive and time-consuming.  Of course, you probably now already have plans for SP1 that you need to start implementing!  Good luck with the whole RTM and GA procedure, and good luck with SP1 development.

  12. Eliezer Perlmutter says:

    Anxiously awaiting for download it in MSDN!

  13. @RonV

    Yeah I know I’m being picky!


    Great work. Can’t wait to get my hands on Win7. RC has been great.

  14. jagansai says:

    Congrats! But, I am very disappointed that a market like India is ignored when it comes to discounted prices of Windows 7 OS. You might have already known that there is lot of pirated s/w in India and the only way to make people buy original s/w is to get the prices down.

  15. cppprogrammer@live.com says:


    "X86 is the past" – that’s a big call. Considering how powerful x86 chips are atm compared to their rivals, you would be bold in saying Intel couldn’t make a good low-power x86 chip.

    @Windows 7 Team

    Great work! Look forward to seeing and playing with the product.

  16. tophtucker@hotmail.com says:

    I continue to love the RC and and will be glad to get a hold of the final. Great work, and *huge* thanks for maintaining such a wonderful blog.

    Congratulations. 🙂

  17. gauravkale@vista.aero says:

    Today is a special day, so no complaints from me. Congratulations Microsoft! RTMing client and server on the same day is freaking awesome! Microsoft, can you put a list of minor changes from RC to RTM? Also do you know when the Windows Feedback Program participants will get their copy of Windows 7 Ultimate?

  18. ilovetech says:

    Congratulations Windows Team. You did a wonderful job & this blog has been a exiting place to get insight into the development process all the way.

  19. guruparan@hotmail.com says:

    Congrats Windows 7 team!..

    You all have done a wonderful job..& its really exciting that people (including my frnds whom i showed it during Beta stage itself) started to like it very much.

    Fast, Compatibility, Robustness will be key success. Congrats again!

  20. tom5 says:

    Congratulations for the whole team for making such a good release. It’s almost unreal for me to see a new OS from Microsoft with system requirements same as the previous version – good job!

  21. tom5 says:

    And one more thing: the preorder program was very, very limited: both in terms of quantity and the countries it was launched in. If it was meant to be a "thank you" for the people who helped to test it, then based on the country availability there were only testers from US, Canada, UK and Japan 😉

  22. d_e says:

    Congratulations to RTM. Windows7 is the best version of Windows so far.

    But http://www.windows7taskforce.com/ makes me sad. There are still many inconsitencies left in the UI. I hope you take care of that in the next Windows version.

  23. consumer4beta@hotmail.com says:

    Most important thing for me is what has changed (any minor changes) between RC and RTM. Please let us know that. Also, why doesn’t Microsoft include any goodies on the Windows disc any more like there used to be for Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP (resource kit/value added/support tools) ? Lastly, I too would like to know when the Windows Feedback Program participants will be getting their Ultimate copies.

  24. domenico says:


    Thank you !!

  25. Henk Poley says:


    It would be very nice though if there were some follow up blog posts about things that didn’t make the cut. Maybe also show some of the design process, what UIs were weeded out by Q&A. Some retrospection on the process going from Vista to 7.

    With your telemetry data you should be able to have a clue about hardware and software problems to watch out for in the field. To give it a positive spin you could show the process a hardware manufacturer goes through with Microsoft to go from a problem driver to a good functioning one.

    I believe now showing a good ‘after care’ for the RTM build is key to the success of your product.

  26. dotnet@sivill.com says:


    Thanks for the link, roll on august 6th.

    Like a lot of others have asked will there be a list of what was fixed/improved between RC and RTM just so I have the full skinny when I start dealing with my clients who want to know why to buy it!

    Already have an elderly client using the RC and she is well impressed with it! She has pre-ordered the final version.


  27. tryon says:

    please make sure IHV don’T put loads of crapware on top of this capable OS, no more 1month free symantec PLEASE… it is ruining the pc experience :/

  28. boen_robot says:


    You’re referring to OEMs I believe. (I’m just being picky…)


    I would say that x64 bit processors are the future… but saying that x86 is a thing of the past is probably a call for Micrsoft’s telemetry to make.

    Anyway, congratulations on the RTM. I too hope to see a changelog of some sort. Hopefully including details from the type "Windows Update is now pinned to the start menu by default" or "3 new themes (A, B and C)" or "Menu X is now accessible from Y, as well as its former location – Z".

  29. mvadu says:

    Congrats Guys.. you guys Rock!!

  30. blackroseMD1 says:

    Steven, I just want to say thank you for being so open with the Windows 7 process. Because you were, millions of us have been able to test Windows 7, and it seems like this is the most user-friendly, enthusiast tested OS ever. Congrats on hitting RTM, and I hope that Windows 8 development is as open and honest as Win7 development was. Thanks for listening to us.

  31. anonymuos says:

    Damn MS you are still ignoring the shell/Explorer problems as if they don’t exist. I request you to ship a hotfix for them and incorporate them by Windows 7 Service Pack 1:

    1.  Make Autorefresh/autosorting optional in Explorer. It is too annoying for some users.

    2.  Alt+Enter for Properties is broken in left pane. What does it take to fix this?

    3.  Status bar doesn’t show size, free disk space and zone; details pane doesn’t show size without selection, doesn’t show size with selection after 15+ files and requires clicking "Show more details" for every selection change thereafter. Details pane only shows size between 1-15 selected files. Folder tooltips don’t show complete size if folder is large.

    4.  Column handler extensions still broken because of deprecating IColumnProvider. If there is no replacement, please include IColumnProvider and make it off by default.

    5.  Network activity animation still not restored.

    6.  Security tab missing for multiple files and folders. Setting permissions on multiple files isn’t easy with Icacls.

    7.  Can’t apply Group Policies that apply only to Vista or only to XP because the reworked filter dialog is missing that.

    8.  Pressing Shift does not bypass Autologon at the Welcome screen.

  32. manicmarc says:

    Cool. So when does the Windows 8 blog start ? 😉

  33. M-Abdelmonem says:

    No "THANKS TO YOU" for using our feedbacks and allow us sharing your hard work, by this way we (you and us) obtained a magnificent Version of OS and its name is "Windows 7".


  34. Exoskeletor says:

    great work guys, cant wait for windows 8 beta

  35. JamesNT says:

    And just why wasn’t Raymond Chen shown in that video?

    You idiots, there would not be an Windows 7 without him!



  36. d.kiran@live.in says:

    First. Congratulations on shipping Windows 7. It truly  shines as an OS.

    I am going offtopic here, but please hear me out. I have been asking this in a lot of forums so far.

    I came across this blog while tearing my hair out trying to find out why the Media Center in RC was not working the same way as the Public Beta.

    I’ll give a little bit of background. I was using the Windows 7 Beta version in my HTPC and I was absolutely and totally thrilled with it.

    The Music Library especially was awesome since I *always* have music playing. But in the RC some major changes were done which, in my opinion, kinda reduced my enthusiasm.

    1. M4A – Apple Lossless support. The beta could read and import m4a Apple Lossless files perfectly and without any tag plug-ins! Imagine my surprise when I find my entire library perfectly (let me emphasize PERFECT) shown in the Media Center. Now I realize it could not play the lossless files out of the box, but that could be easily corrected by using any of the available quicktime DS filter.

    In the RC, the behaviour was changed so that only m4a AAC files are recognized. However, now I find I have no way of adding my M4A Lossless files even though I can play them perfectly using WMP/W7MC.

    Can you please help me out with this? Any workaround such as using some particular dll from beta will also satisfy my need.

    2. This is the second issue. This is about the <artists> view in W7MC. The beta used the contributing artist tag in the <artists> view, however this was changed. This enabled Multiple artists support and was a dream come true. There was a reference to ShadowChaser’s comment about "Album Artist" tag being the way CE devices and ipods work. This is wrong.Ipods and most CE (I have verified using a Creative, an iRiver and a Sansa device which probably is 98% of the market), all use Artist tag.

    Is there a way to enable the earlier behaviour? Any workaround will do. As of now there is no difference between artists and album artists view in W7 Media Center

  37. ucyimDa_Ruler says:

    Congratulations to the the Win7 Team!

    I’ve enjoyed the latest RC and I shall enjoy Win7 for home and work.

    Thank you for the hard work!

  38. archmond says:

    Conguratulations !!

    i’m south korea user, I enjoy W7 🙂


  39. Digi says:


    Will there be engineering Windows 8 blog?

    It would be also nice to have more generic future of Windows blog where we could discuss more about major features and changes which would be nice to have but are difficult to implement for some reason.

  40. anonymuos says:

    Totally unfair that you’re giving copies only to technical beta testers. Just because public beta crowd doesn’t get invited doesn’t mean they care less about Windows, haven’t worked hard enough to find and report bugs and don’t deserve a copy? This is pissing off the public beta testers. I understand that Microsoft simply cannot give away copies to such a large audience as the public beta but why can’t do you it like you did for Vista? Give copies depending on the number and quality of unique bugs?

  41. fornax86 says:

    Congratulations team..awesome work !!

    Looking forward to Engineering Windows 8 🙂

  42. Great Work Windows 7 Team(s)!  A little story – I was just at Barnes and Nobles to get some coffee, and to read the latest CPU magazine.  and to my shock and awe, Mr. Alex St. John "The Saint" in his column, was actually giving you Excellent reviews of Your Windows 7 OS!!  Anyone who reads his column knows, For the past two years he’s done nothing but blast and breath fire on Vista.  Now you probably don’t give a rat’s ass what he says anymore, but to get a glowing review after about two years of breathing fire on Vista means you must truly have something special here!  I agree, I believe this is the OS that will make me forget XP, and Vista.  I guess now it’s  looong vacation time right? ;^}

  43. locolorenzo says:

    Thanks for the "Best Darn OS" that is available.

    All my customers are trying the 7100 build and are ery pleased with how intuitive and easy Windows 7 is to use.

    I would like to see some comments on licencing for resellers.

    Great Job!

  44. Mantvydas says:

    You know what, I turned off the Tabs in Internet Explorer.

    Now, with the advent of Windows+Tabbing, Alt+Tabbing, and miniature preview of individual tabs, when hovering over the icon in the new taskbar, I want to get to my individual tabs by Windows+Tabbing as well. And I just cannot. Alt+Tab and Windows+Tab skips all the open tabs except one. And that becomes even annoying.

    For that reason, I just dropped Tab support of IE so that it’s easier for me to Windows+Tab.

  45. California Traffic School says:


    … now if you could only put the topics of this blog into a  book called ‘Engineering Windows 7’, (and perhaps some other tasty tit-bits) I’d be first in the queue to buy it 🙂

    Excellent job well done… and thanks for being more open and transparent with us this time – must appreciated

  46. SiFFiN says:

    Well done Microsoft,

    From the testing that I have done,

    From Beta to RC was a huge step in the right direction will stability and functionality,

    Well impressed.

    I looking forward to tomorrow to when I can download the final version (RTM),

    I expect to see another Huge Step up from RC to RTM,

    Again well done, finally something better than Windows XP and defiantly Windows Vista



    From EDS an HP comapny

  47. DrizztVD says:

    Sorry but I don’t know where to post this.

    I use the Windows 7 RC build, I’ve found that the Task Manager GUI ‘processes’ tab does not update itself. When terminating a thread the exe name still stays in the window and requires pressing F5 to update the list and remove it.

  48. Awek comel says:

    Congrats on a well project. I am really looking forward to have a look at it.

  49. Awek Melayu says:

    I have to say this well done. It’s great that MS is taking the time and effort to develop this. Great job!!

  50. vivianleemit says:

    I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Win7 to the general consumer public. Microsoft has impressed me greatly with all the improvements made since the humble days of XP, and even further back to Win95 and beyond (I began usage of Windows during the 3.0 era). It was likewise a pleasure to follow along the development process on this blog – thanks!

  51. http://www.bnta1.com says:

    am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Win7 to the general consumer public. Microsoft has impressed me greatly with all the improvements made since the humble days of XP, and even further back to http://www.sau1di.com

  52. richard_deeming says:

    Great work, but I’d like to add two additional Explorer problems to the list:

    1. Column headers missing from all views except details view. This makes it much harder to sort the files.

    2. Missing thumbnails in the replace file dialog box. If I try to copy/move an image from one local folder to another, and the destination folder already contains an image with the same name, the dialog shows a thumbnail of the file I’m copying, but only an icon for the file I’m overwriting. This makes it much harder to see whether the images are the same.

  53. richard_deeming says:

    I’ve just run some more tests, and it seems that the "replace file" dialog will show the thumbnail if it already exists, but it won’t create the thumbnail. Presumably this is to prevent the thumbnail creation from locking the file.

  54. maximus_090 says:

    The taskbar and the title bar sometimes continuously starts flashing blue coloured spots, mostly from the sides… I have to minimize the windows or do "show desktop" to stop that…

    Otherwise no other bugs faced so far…

    Really happy with it…

  55. bart.nicolotti says:

    Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7


  56. Mesothelioma Lawyers says:

    This is one of the best version of Windows out there not including windows XP of course. Looking forward to get my hands on a copy.

  57. Harry says:

    The conversion from XP to W7 was smooth using the live transfer cable, except for the address book and existing email services.

    Microsoft is making a determined effort to force change to their Hotmail and a few other choices. I have no need or desire to use these and prefder to use my existing Outlook format. To change email addresses would be a massive undertaking that I would rather avoid, even if I have to keep my XP system goping.

  58. Super Bingo says:

    Excellent work made by the W7 team! I’ve identified a couple of mistakes too, mostly what users already told here! Still, remains the most reliable windows version. Keep it up with the next release!

  59. Today is a special day, so no complaints from me. Congratulations Microsoft! RTMing client and server on the same day is freaking awesome! Microsoft, can you put a list of minor changes from RC to RTM? Also do you know when the Windows Feedback Program participants will get their copy of Windows 7 Ultimate?

  60. Oyun Forum says:

    Great Work Windows 7 Team(s)!  A little story – I was just at Barnes and Nobles to get some coffee, and to read the latest CPU magazine.

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  62. 7alacol says:

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    Thank you !!


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  64. Accountancy Tutor says:

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  65. Rock says:

    Congrats Guys.. you guys Rock!!

    Thank you !!


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