Well, the day has finally arrived. I was told very early on that Windows Phone would most likely be released to manufacturing (RTM) in August, and they missed that mark by just a day, which isn't so horrible for a completely new platform. Anyway, the Windows Phone 7 OS has been finalized and sent to Microsoft's hardware and carrier partners so that they can integrate their own software and services solutions and ship new devices to customers later in the year. No word yet on the launch, but I don't believe the October/November plans have changed.

There are, however, some changes to the RTM version of the Windows Phone 7 OS, which are fortunately not too bad considering I pretty much finished the Windows Phone 7 Secrets book recently:

  • Facebook contacts filtering in the People hub, which isn't actually what people have been asking for (i.e. the ability to decide which Facebook contacts appear and which do not). Instead, it's that those Facebook contacts who don't have phone information will be automatically filtered out of the list for you.
  • Facebook "Like" capability from the People hub. You can now "Like" a Facebook post from within the People hub's What's New list and post messages directly to someone's Facebook wall.
  • Various user interface updates, including a new Search button in the contacts list.

Note that those with Tech Preview prototype phones will not be getting upgraded to the RTM build.

Expect an official blog post around this milestone soon. I'll link when it's up.

Update: The official blog post, Windows Phone 7 – Released To Manufacturing, is up.