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Key milestone reached more than two weeks ahead of schedule

Windows 7 released to manufacturers

Microsoft has released Windows 7 to its manufacturing partners earlier than was expected.

The new operating system is due for public release on October 22nd, but Microsoft was not expecting to reach RTM (release to manufacturer) until August 6th. The move means that vendors can now begin to manufacture their Windows 7-based SKUs.

Microsoft evangelist Brandon LeBlanc said that the company had been keen to listen to its customers and partners, and that is one of the reasons it had reached release to manufacture before target.

"Our customers also told us that ‘fundamentals’ on both the hardware and software side was extremely important," blogged LeBlanc.

Windows 7 today runs great on the broadest array of hardware types ranging" from netbooks to high-end gaming machines. We worked closely with OEMs so that their PCs delight customers with the new features in Windows 7."

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