The Windows 7 Team Blog today provided further information concerning the RTM availability for Windows 7 along with Family Pack Licensing details:
I recognize this is an important question to have answered. Many of you have said you want to know exactly when you will be able to get your hands on RTM. Last Monday, I gave an update on RTM to close out some myths. In that update, I also gave a broad timeline on when different groups of people – or “audiences” – would get the final RTM code.
While I have nothing new to add regarding RTM today, I do however have more precise information to give on when you will be able to get RTM. Again, when you can get RTM depends on who you are.
As for the availability:
OEMs: ISV (Independent software vendor) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) Partners will be able to download Windows 7 RTM from Microsoft Connect or MSDN on August 6th
ISVs and IHV partners: August 6 (downloadable via Microsoft Connect or MSDN)
Microsoft Gold certified resellers: August 16 (downloadable from the partner portal in English only); October 1 (other language)
TechNet/MSDN subscribers & Microsoft Connect: August 6 (English only); October 1 (other languages)
A special thank you to our beta testers is needed for their time and effort in helping make Windows 7 a solid release. The special pre-order offer we did offering Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional at almost 50% discount was done with our beta testers in mind. And many of you jumped at the chance to take advantage of this deal – thank you!
Beta testers will not automatically receive a free copy of Windows 7. Many beta testers are already subscribers to TechNet; those of you who fit that description will be able to download Windows 7 RTM shortly after RTM happens for free as part of your subscription.
However, if you don’t have TechNet and are waiting for GA (to either purchase Windows 7 or wait for your pre-order to arrive) you can continue to use the RC. In fact, you can continue to use it until it expires on June 1st, 2010 (expiration actually starts March 1, 2010, this is when the reboots start).
Microsoft “Action Pack” subscribers: August 23 (English only); October 1 (remaining languages)
Volume licensees with existing Software Assurance license: August 7 (downloadable from the Volume License Service Center in English);
Volume licensees without a Software Assurance license: September 1 (downloadable from the Volume License Service Center)
Consumers: General availability begins October 22. Retailers and OEMs will be offering new systems preloaded with Windows 7 and copies of Windows 7 at retail on that day.
Family Pack licensing:
I know there have been some rumors going around about a “family pack” for Windows 7. We have heard a lot of feedback from beta testers and enthusiasts over the last 3 years that we need a better solution for homes with multiple PCs. I’m happy to confirm that we will indeed be offering a family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium (in select markets) which will allow installation on up to 3 PCs. As I’ve said before, stay tuned to our blog for more information on this and any other potential offers.
This should provide a clearer view of how the Windows Team is strategically rolling out the release of this major upgrade. The family licensing confirmation is definitely great news for many homes around the world that have Windows based systems. I am hoping the pricing will be attractive enough for consumers to take advantage of it. There has been continued frenzy about when Windows 7 RTM will be finalized – I guess today’s announcement will just have to satisfy those questions for now.
You can read more details about the availability at the Windows 7 Team blog here