Windows 7 'achingly close' to final build?

Deep inside the Damage Labs NewsCenter, I learned this weekend that Windows 7 had been released to manufacturing, meaning the operating system had been finalized and preparations would begin for its release this fall. A number of sites have reported the news, which means it must be true. Except that this guy at ZDNet seems to be very familiar with how these things work, parsing out the version strings in the purported screenshots of the RTM build, and he is unwilling to say definitively that the OS has been completed. Looks like we may have to wait for the final word from Microsoft before being entirely sure.

With that said, I've been running the RC on a couple of different systems here, and it seems to be pretty much what Vista should have been, with some real look-and-feel innovations that can improve usability and fewer boneheaded problems. As a result, I'm pre-ordered to the hilt, ready to install Win7 on all of the major PCs around here, including my HTPC, as soon as I can get my sweaty hands on it. Could it be that we have a Windows release worth looking forward to? Shocking!

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