RTM officially happens only after sign-off occurs. 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. Today after all the validation checks were met, we signed off and declared build 7600 as RTM.
I've been working with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for over 18 months in the Windows TAP (Technology Adoption Program) and as an early adopter. I'm happy to see a lot of changes that I and others in my company requested get implemented. We are delighted to work with the Windows and Server development teams, who produced such awesome products.
Evaluation software will be available for download in the first half of August and the full product available to customers with Software Assurance in the second half of August. General “off the shelf” availability will come in the September timeframe, as planned.
Congratulations, Windows Development Teams! You have two sure fire winners with these new operating systems.
PS - Look for our new book, "Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed" to be released soon.