What is RTM Windows 7?
RTM Windows 7 refers to a “Release To Manufacturers” version of Windows 7. It is basically some form of a test version or an “almost final” version released to several computer manufacturers for compatibility testing with their hardware. This version of Windows 7 already contains the codes that are soon to be finalized and is given to Microsoft’s partners for review and testing before the actual rollout of this particular product. Some RTM versions are also released earlier than retail versions for the computer manufactures to use the product and bundle it in their own hardware releases.
A particular computer manufacturer for example may be planning to release a new and upgraded hardware system in the future and so may coordinate with software companies like Microsoft to get an RTM version of products that are also for release in the future. One example would be a new version or a new operating system like Windows 7. In this case, Microsoft, which is the developer of the Windows 7 operating system, would want computer manufacturers to use their software as the default operating system or to come pre-installed with computers that are released to market, and so provide test versions or RTM versions to manufacturing companies for compatibility testing. The computer manufacturers also may take advantage of these types of services and offers by software companies so they can also position themselves in the very competitive computer industry and release their new hardware systems along with the latest software releases such as the Windows 7 OS from Microsoft.
But aside from partnering with computer manufacturers, software companies like Microsoft also releases RTM versions like Windows 7 RTMs to have this product tested by different manufacturers. In this way, the features of the product will be able to undergo thorough testing to help its compatibility across different hardware versions. Sometimes the reason for releasing RTM versions is to test an initial version of a particular software product with the intention of re-developing the product into a newer and updated version.