As Microsoft promised, on Tuesday, the Windows 7 Release Candidate was made available to the public. It had previously been available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers.
Here are the details from Microsoft
So do you want to put the Windows 7 RC through its paces? Just like with the Windows 7 Beta, you can register to download the Windows 7 RC at the Windows 7 page on Windows.com.
You will be required to register in order to download the RC. This is where you will also be provided with a Product Key to activate your copy. Previously issued Product Keys for the Windows 7 Beta are not intended for continued use, we are recommending that you register and get a new Product Key for the Windows 7 RC.
The Windows 7 RC will be available for download as an ISO image which will need to be burned onto a DVD. Additionally, consistent with the Windows 7 Beta, the Windows 7 RC will be available in one edition – Windows 7 Ultimate.
The Windows 7 RC will be available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish and each language will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
As we previously indicated
, a Windows 7 Beta to Windows 7 RC upgrade is not recommended by Microsoft. In fact, it won't work. There is a workaround detailed in our prior post which will allow you to do an upgrade, but since most users will upgrade from Vista, this is what Microsoft wants users to do (or else a fresh install, but remember also that an XP to 7 upgrade will not be possible).
This build will
expire, as will the prior beta release.
- For Beta, bi-hourly shutdowns will begin July 1st, 2009. You will be alerted to install a released version of Windows and your PC will shut down automatically every 2 hours. On August 1st, 2009 if you are still on the Windows 7 Beta your license for the Windows 7 Beta will expire and the non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar.
- For the RC, bi-hourly shutdowns will begin on March 1st, 2010. You will be alerted to install a released version of Windows and your PC will shut down automatically every 2 hours. On June 1st, 2010 if you are still on the Windows 7 RC your license for the Windows 7 RC will expire and the non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar.
Microsoft hopes to erase memories of Windows Vista with Windows 7, but it is still being cheeky about the release date for the new OS. However, Acer earlier
gave a date in October. We will see what we will see.