Microsoft officially signs off Windows 7

windows 7 boxes

Microsoft has officially finished Windows 7, signing off the release to manufacturers (RTM) version yesterday night.

Microsoft said build 7600 was the final version, adding it had gone through significant testing and validation before Steve Ballmer signed the gold RTM DVDs at the company's sales meeting in Atlanta yesterday.

The next-generation operating system is headed to hardware manufacturers over the next few days, who will look to ship their laptops, PCs and netbooks with it in October.

Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed IT professionals subscribed to TechNet and MSDN would be the next to receive the OS - click here for the full delivery schedule.

Microsoft said in a blog post that 10 million people signed up to give feedback about the beta and release candidate versions.

Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division, said on the Windows 7 developers blog that an OS is never 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," he wrote, adding both software and hardware partners will change how the OS looks and works as they add support and work with the APIs.

Windows Server 2008 R2

Microsoft also gave the go-ahead for the RTM of Windows Server 2008 R2.

Technical product manager Oliver Rist said: "We're talking final code. Sun shining, birds singing, children dancing in the streets."

Highlights - aside from the happy children - include expansion of Microsoft's virtualisation system Hyper-V, including Live Migration, as well as the latest version of Internet Information Server, File Classification Infrastructure and more scalability.

So Windows 7 is headed our way - click here for more on the business benefits of the OS, and why you may want to skip Vista to upgrade.