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Windows 7 RTM Actually Finished on July 13

The big news of the week is Windows 7 hitting RTM – but wait, was the release to manufacturing code really finished just this week? No, it wasn't. Windows 7 code was actually wrapped up on July 13, 2009 – 10 days before Microsoft signed off on the RTM.

Microsoft's Larry Osterman shared in his blog the Windows 7 RTM build string: 6.1.7600.16385.

Interestingly enough, the very same build was leaked onto the internet last week. Our first glimpse of build 7600 came with "7600.16384.090710-1945," which was completed July 10, but wasn't the final RTM version.

Just a few days later, another build 7600 leaked, bearing the string "7600.16385.090713-1255," which was completely July 13 at 12:55 p.m. and wears the same numbers as the final RTM.

Of course, it's expected for Microsoft to complete a build of the RTM and hang on to it for last minute testing before signing off on a build that'll be sent out to the rest of the computer ecosystem.

Windows communication manager Brandon LeBlanc explained this in part on the team blog: "What happens is a build gets designated as a RTM contender after going through significant testing and meeting our quality bar for RTM. Then, it goes though all the validation checks required for RTM including having all languages of that build completed. If all the validation checks have passed – sign-off for RTM can occur."

So for those of you who have been hanging out in shadier parts of the internet, that build of Windows 7 that's been floating around the past week claiming to be RTM seems to be solid. Of course, besides the legality of it, downloading any critical software from unofficial sources is risky business.

"As always, beware of what you download. There are many bogus copies of Windows 7 floating around the Internet. More often than not, they contain a rather nice malware payload," LeBlanc added.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • jerther
    did the was the release to manufacturing code really finished just this week?
    did the what? :)
    Reply
  • Ciuy
    lol
    Reply
  • leo2kp
    Yea, I've been seeing more and more errors like this lately lol.
    Reply
  • meganfox16
    There is not really a whole lot different between the two, I have tried both on my computer right now.. the 1255 actually seems slower in Prototype... about 2 FPS differences on 1900x1080. Using the highest AA. I do have all the lastest drivers. Both of them are Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Going to try testing them again on my lower computer.
    My system:
    i7 920 OCed 4Ghz
    EVGA Classified E759
    3 GTX 285 SLI
    6GB Dominator
    Reply
  • medicineman
    meganfox16There is not really a whole lot different between the two, I have tried both on my computer right now.. the 1255 actually seems slower in Prototype... about 2 FPS differences on 1900x1080. Using the highest AA. I do have all the lastest drivers. Both of them are Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Going to try testing them again on my lower computer. My system: i7 920 OCed 4GhzEVGA Classified E7593 GTX 285 SLI6GB DominatorYour system is very powerful and 2 fps may be a measuring error.
    Anyway, the difference is very small and cannot be considered statisticaly signifiant,
    Further testing is a good idea, though
    Reply
  • starhoof
    WINDOWS 7 is like for sale on newegg RIGHT NOW !!! sadly its only retail versions, no OEMs yet....
    Reply
  • aspireonelover
    SEE?! I was right on the other article
    People gave me thumbs down for saying that windows 7 is finalized. And how microsoft said that wasn't the RTM. I was right, microsoft sometimes bs on these things.

    Frick (please people)
    Reply
  • derek2006
    meganfox16There is not really a whole lot different between the two, I have tried both on my computer right now.. the 1255 actually seems slower in Prototype... about 2 FPS differences on 1900x1080. Using the highest AA. I do have all the lastest drivers. Both of them are Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Going to try testing them again on my lower computer. My system: i7 920 OCed 4GhzEVGA Classified E7593 GTX 285 SLI6GB Dominator
    Better not let Microsoft see your post. There is only so many ways to obtain 2 copies worth ~$300 dollars on newegg.
    Reply