During its keynote speech on Computex Taipei 2009, Steve Guggenheimer [Corporate VP, OEM Division] announced the release schedule of Windows 7. The release date was set on October 22, 2009, but the release date was somewhere in mid-July. According to our sources [who woke up very early Seattle time], Microsoft will release final version of all Windows 7 operating systems on July 13, 2009. RTM or Release To Manufacturing means that Microsoft will post the "gold" version of software for all the OEM/ODM vendors, who will download and customize those Windows [logos, support information etc.] and put DVDs into production.
However, if we learn from the history, RTM date is the date when Microsoft releases will also hit MSDN, TechNet developer groups, Action Pack members, and of course - [illegal] file sharing sites. Given by the current state of affairs, this might as well be the last major operating system release to be shared through The Pirate Bay.
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