Windows 7 RTM download build: 7600? 7700? 7777?

You might get to download the Windows 7 RTM build this week, if you're feeling lucky or naughty. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers watch Microsoft release Win7 to manufacturing -- probably -- and cogitate over build numbers and digital signatures.

By Richi Jennings: your humble blogwatcher, who selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention United Airlines' alleged mistreatment of musical instruments in checked baggage...

Emil Protalinski summarizes:

Reports across the Web are pointing to a build 7600 for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. This is significant because the bump in the build number would suggest that Microsoft has christened this build as the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build. The RTM is expected to be given out to Microsoft partners sometime later this month and launched on October 22, 2009, the day General Availability (GA).

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Microsoft only increments the build number when it reaches a significant goal, and the only one left is the RTM milestone. The last builds that were leaking were all 72xx builds, so such a large bump is ... something Microsoft would do to signify that this is the final build. ... This build is in the process of being leaked into the wild, but we recommend exercising caution. ... We can expect an official announcement as early as [Monday], at the kickoff of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, which is taking place in New Orleans.
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Paul Paliath has been browsing those shady Russian sites:

WZor reports that they have managed to meet the compile target date of July 10th, and have compiled the RTM build ... 7600.16384.090710-1945. ... This build has a valid digital signature, and this cannot be faked.

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This build is in the process of leaking so expect to see it on your favorite torrent site/FTP/file sharing service soon, but in the interim keep watch for any fakes that will be uploaded, as I assure you, there will be many. As the screenshots posted do not have Aero enabled, we do not know yet whether the rumors that a new UI will be included in the RTM build are true, but we’re trying to get our hands on such a screen and we will update this post accordingly.
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Long Zheng tweets the latest gossip:

There is sufficient proof: a file that has been digitally signed by Microsoft is confirmed to be from build 7600. can't tamper. ... I think Windows 7 sets the bar for the most easily leaked software under development in the history of computing. ... They made a big arbitrary jump in build numbers. and also the ISO file is marked "retail". ... They've made build jumps in the past, normally attributed to major milestones. for example, m3 6801. beta 7000. RC 7100.

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It appears the Chinese has finished uploading the bits of Windows 7 7600. It is spreading about FTP now. ... There aren't very fast internet links to China. wait till it spreads to Sweden or something.
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The pseudonymous Mini-Microsoft sounds happy, for a change:

I've got to say: in my opinion, Microsoft has turned The Corner. ... Redemption takes a while. Time is needed to allow perception to change and to re-earn trust and respect. ... Large parts of Microsoft are magical, exhilarating places to be. In its bones, Microsoft is a great company with amazing potential. It's just turning The Corner and directing itself to where it can focus on efficient, lean-mean, profit making products that engage and delight Microsoft customers..

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But our car's suspension is still wobbling from the load we're carrying, and while some fine spots of leadership has gotten us around this bend, it doesn't take much for the remaining mediocre leadership to assume that the pressure is off and to get their grubby hands on the wheel and start turning us back towards Vista Avenue. The job isn't done. It's just beginning.
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MG Siegler drives the point home:

Over the past few months I’ve talked with many, many MSFT employees. On a one-on-one level all of them seem to say the right things, admit problems the company has on the consumer front, and have good ideas for the future. But at the same time, most admit that on the macro level, things still take way too long to get done.

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Microsoft needs to realize it doesn’t need to be in every game. For example, Zune. Sure, the new Zune HD looks cooler, but what the hell is the point? It’s a iPod touch competitor that is 2 years too late. The new iPod touches are going to add cameras and then where will the Zune HD be? Nowhere, again.
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Microsoft's Brandon Watson is tight-lipped:

This week is going to be interesting. That’s all I can say out loud.

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It’s great to see that we’re making progress which is being met with receptivity and not suspicion. Further, everyone is focused on the most important beneficiaries - customers. ... Since returning to the company a little over a year ago, I have had this sense that things are looking up. Don’t get me wrong, there’s not shortage of frustrations for me, but that’s to be expected when you come from a tiny company where you were the founder and CEO to a large company where you're a cog in a wheel.
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So what's your take?

Get involved: leave a comment.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itblogwatch@richij.com.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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