hard launch
n. The release of a product or website for public consumption.
Den debuted its preview site in May (in what Internet folks call a "soft" launch), featuring a few segments of 10 video shows and limited interactive features. The revamped site (the "hard" launch) will be unveiled in mid-October, with 30 shows, chat rooms, and other popular Web features.
—Patti Hartigan, “This is not your older brother's TV,” The Boston Globe, August 22, 1999
Costs have been controlled and operating expenses would have been unchanged on the same period of 1998, but for the exceptional cost of a re-branding project now under active consideration. "A soft, internal launch is scheduled for the autumn with a hard launch next February, after Ramadan," says Abuzeid.
—“BMB Clicks on Internet Investments,” Middle East Economic Digest, July 23, 1999
1990 (earliest)
During the first few weeks of service, being referred to as the "soft launch," officials are concerned with getting the purple and green, 20-seat buses on the road to let people know they're there and to iron out any bugs in the system.

The "hard launch," takes place Feb. 13 with official ceremonies accompanied by an advertising blitz.
—Mike Funston, “Mississauga launches its free shuttle service,” The Toronto Star, January 25, 1990
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