Has any Windows development period been so smooth?
Following the release of Windows 7 beta in January and the year long licensed Release Candidate in April it seems we could be getting the RTM (Released to Manufacturing) version in just one more week.
13 July is the date being "confirmed" by GeekSmack.net, Wzor and neowin (all of whom claim to have gotten word from Microsoft insiders) which suggests it is pretty nailed on. It also coincides with the start of the Microsoft 2009 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) so consider us convinced.
An RTM is essentially the build Microsoft hopes it will be able to bring to the shelves on its formal 22 October release date, but it does provide some room to make last minute changes should any major bugs be discovered. It is also what manufacturers will largely use as the test bed for their final software and hardware products.
Whether Microsoft will make the RTM publicly available is currently unknown but like previous builds it will likely require a fresh install to upgrade from the (now auto shutting down) Beta or RC. Either way expect it to hit torrent sites within minutes of launch.