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In the software release life cycle, general availability (GA) refers to the marketing phase when all commercialization activities pertaining to the software product have been completed and it is available for purchase. Commercialization activities encompass compliance and security tests as well as localization and worldwide availability. General availability is a part of the release phase of the software and is preceded by the release to manufacturing (RTM) phase.
General availability is also known as production release.
General availability is the phase of the software release life cycle where the software is made available for sale. The availability though, can largely vary on the basis of the form in which it is released, language and the region as well. General availability usually happens on a specific date, which has been announced in advance to customers. Any software that has made it to this stage is assumed to have gone through all of the earlier release stages, and has also passed them successfully. This means that the software product has proven to be reliable, free of critical bugs and is suitable for usage in production systems. The general availability phase is also when the software must support all its promised features and be available to developers outside the developing firm.