RTM = Release to Manufacturing
Most of you are already familiar with this term but it actually refers to a bygone era at Microsoft when the final code for Windows and other software products had to be finalized and labeled as gold so that it could be sent to manufacturing. In turn, manufacturing produced the CD/DVD media that was packaged and sold on retail shelves when that product hit General Availability (GA) and could be purchased.
The gold code was also sent to OEM partners so they could get new machines ready with the latest version of the operating system for their product lines availability at GA.
RTM may be a term of days past, however that does not stop it from being the acronym used by everyone on social media to find out if this is the final build of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that will be released on 02 August.
With the release of Windows 10 Build 14393 for PCs and Mobile devices, the grand total of testing builds leading up to the release of the Anniversary Update in August has now risen to 49 since the beginning of the year. Eventually one of them will be the final release build for the Anniversary Update but do no expect Microsoft to confirm that publicly.
However, we can look into the announcement post for this latest build and get an idea of how close we are by looking at the known issues for the PC and Mobile builds.
Let's begin with the PC issue that is listed:
We are aware of certain cases in which Surface Books and Surface Pro 4’s may bugcheck (bluescreen) due to a camera driver issue. An updated driver will roll-out via Windows Update soon that will fix this.
This BSOD situation can be and is in the process of being addressed with an updated driver that will be rolled out via Windows Update. Although there is no definition of what soon means, it can be delivered to those devices immediately once it is ready.
Although, as many are saying on social media, there are other bugs/issues with this build of Windows 10 Anniversary Update they have not been designated as show stoppers. That likely means they have been identified and triaged to be addressed in subsequent cumulative updates to what will be Windows 10 Version 1607.
Over on the Mobile side there three issues listed that are still being tracked for resolution as part of the Anniversary Update release:
We are continuing to investigate Wi-Fi issues on certain devices.
Turning off Bluetooth can sometimes result in freeze, crash, or reset.
Wallet users are prompted for a PIN twice when using tap to pay from a locked phone. You can enter their PIN twice and tap as usual once the phone is unlocked. A fix for this will come as a Wallet app update via the Store.
The Wi-Fi issue is unresolved and does not appear to have any work around solutions so this is likely a top priority and focus for the Windows team in these last two weeks. It is reported as only happening on certain devices so it may not be a show stopper for the final release to be designated. If Wi-Fi was broken across all mobile devices - that would mean show stopper.
The Bluetooth issue is different from the Wi-Fi issue in that this Answers forum post from Microsoft states that they know exactly how it is triggered and know that most phones will recover from the freeze up after a minute or so. They also confirm they are actively working on a fix for this and will service it once that update is ready. An update like this can also be pushed through Windows Update as part of a cumulative update or an individual fix ahead of GA for the Anniversary Update on 02 August.
Finally, the Wallet PIN issue can be fixed through an app update that can be pushed to users through the Windows Store. There was a wallet app udpate earlier this week that just might be testing that fix. If it works great and this issue gets removed from the list otherwise the team continues their work to fix it in a subsequent app update.
So does all this mean Windows 10 Build 14393 is the final build destined for all users on 02 August? It certainly is leaning in that direction because all of these issues can be addressed by patches that can be pushed out over Windows Update and there is time for Insiders to test these things and confirm the fixes before GA.
If that is the case that means Microsoft would likely issue those same fixes as part of the upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for all current Windows 10 users as they get the update from 02 August and onward.
If you look back on the initial Windows 10 release last July and the November Update in November, Windows Insiders had the final build for those releases 14 and 7 days respectively ahead of the GA release for them.
Today is the 14 day mark before the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update so that window is certainly open now for us to have that final build which means 14393 could very well be the answer to the overwhelming question on social media:
Is this RTM?