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The contexts of the usage of this phrase is given below.

SAP Business Suite customers can now run the software in production form on Amazon Web Services, the companies announced this week during the Sapphire and Tech Ed conferences in Madrid.

Source: http://www.cio.com/article/721825/SAP_Certifies_Business_Suite_for_Production_Use_on_Amazon_Web_Services

After being displayed as a thinly disguised concept model at this year's Auto China Show in Beijing, the revamped Seat Ibiza Cupra has now been revealed in production form.

Source: http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/11/seat-ibiza-cupra-facelift-appears-in.html

How is this phrase different from saying "generally available" or "generally released"?

I appreciate all your intelligent answers.

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I expect in production form means "as a full-blown commercial release", in contrast to earlier beta testing versions which might only have been available to a select few. – FumbleFingers Nov 19 '12 at 1:40

The term in production form means that the software has been fully tested and is ready for a business environment. You could very well say generally available or generally released but it wouldn't convey the same meaning; the software could generally be available, but may not be ready for production or business setting.

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The term "in production form" refers to the final stage in a development process from an original idea through to a product (believed to be) ready for use by customers.

In the reference to the automobile, the distinction is made explicit by the earlier reference to a "concept model" being displayed earlier. That concept model might have been hand made and one of only two or three produced. By the time the production model is reached there may be thousands being made and sold.

Before the production model of the SAP software was run on AWS, there would have been several instances of earlier versions (called trial or pilot or beta) that were tested on the system.

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