Also says 'Family Pack' licences are indeed on their way.
The initial web chitter chatter was that Windows 7 RTM would be released on 13 July. That passed with only the Office 2010 Technical Preview but just a week later Microsoft has fessed up with the official date…
On The Windows Blog communications manager Brandon LeBlanc (funky name) has detailed when the partners and OEMs (and by virtue of bittorent, everyone else) will be able to get it.
“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,” said Blanc. “Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English through the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Portal on August 16th. By October 1st, the remaining languages will become available to download. Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers will be about to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 23rd. By October 1st, the remaining languages will become available to download.”
Blanc goes into even more detail about OEMS (“two days after we officially RTM”), Volume Licence (VL) customers (7 August), TechNet subscribers (6 August) and developers with MSDN subscriptions (1 October) but I thought it wise to cut the quote off there for your sanity. It seems public beta and RC testers won’t be getting the version so the aforementioned bittorrent will come into play.
Interestingly, LeBlanc also confirms that there will be a Windows 7 Family Pack that offers three licences but doesn’t detail where it will be available (“select markets”) or how much it will cost at this stage.
Everyone else remember 22 October is the global launch date for Windows 7 (or Windows 7 E as we’ll have it in Europe) so not that long to go now…
Windows Blog Post