Quote: Originally Posted by Qmarshall
I guess RTM is retail. Question still remains... is the only way from beta 7100 to Windows 7 current release is to purchase a retail version?
Welcome to the Windows 7 Forums! Qmarshal
The beta builds were the 7000s that expired back at the end of July. The Release Candidates 7100s were only available until August 20th and are good until March 1st 2010 when they start seeing shutdowns every 2hrs. of use until the 6/1/2010 expiration date.
The RTMs or Released To Manufacturers 7600 is the retail form of 7 sold retail and also available in OEM form for system builders. The OEMs are full install versions but limited in use to only one machine according to the licensing agreement there. But the prices are also lower then seen for the full retail editions since disks are sold individually for the 32bit and 64bit flavors of 7 there.
Once you have decided on which edition of 7 you plan to run the retail version of it will see both 32bit and 64bit disks included in the retail container. Before deciding on which edition you will go with you may want to look over the comparison chart on the differences in features. Compare Windows 7 Editions