Windows Vista is finally a finished product. The Microsoft operating system has reached its Release-to-Manufacturing (RTM) milestone. Simply speaking, that means the master discs are ready and boxed copies can now be manufactured.

In a post on the Windows Vista Team Blog , Jim Allchin, co-president, platform and services division at Microsoft, wrote about the latest development in Vista's release schedule. The post was simply entitled: "It's Time".

The key upshot is that Windows Vista will be made broadly available to consumers on 30 January 2007. Microsoft has already said it will deliver Windows Vista to volume licence customers by the end of November. It also means that software manufacturers will be able to get to work on final Vista releases of their products.

Our colleagues at Windows Vista: The Official Magazine have a full Q&A about the release and a video , too.