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"Over the past week, there have been many rumors surrounding RTM," wrote Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post late Monday. "We are close, but have not yet signed off on Windows 7," said LeBlanc.
LeBlanc said Microsoft won't sit on the news once it has polished off Windows 7. "When we RTM you will most certainly hear it here," said LeBlanc. He added that the news would likely come in the next couple of weeks—from official sources or reputable industry publications and Web sites.
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet," wrote LeBlanc.
Release To Manufacturing, or RTM, is a significant milestone in the development of a software product. It means that all coding and validation is complete and the product can be sent for duplication on discs or setup for online download.
If Windows 7 is sent for RTM this month, it would mean that Microsoft is on pace to meet its stated goal of delivering the OS to business customers by September and to consumers by Oct. 22nd.
Enterprise customers who subscribe to any of a number of Microsoft's Volume Licensing programs—such as Software Assurance--can get Windows 7 as early as Sept. 1, Microsoft senior VP Bill Veghte said during a keynote Monday at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans.
Microsoft is hoping Windows 7 will reinvigorate sales to businesses, which largely shunned Vista. A survey released this week, however, indicated that many enterprises will hold off on Windows 7, at least for the first year of availability.
It's not uncommon for business customers to wait until the first service pack is released before moving to a new operating system to ensure that all the bugs are worked out.
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