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Join Date: Mar 2009
Windows 7 RC1 Released - 05-06-2009, 04:23 PM
Microsoft has released the new Windows 7 RC1 for review and it does not begin to expire until March of 2010. Here is a blog post from an Amazon.com:
Windows 7 Release Candidate Now Available for Download
by EndUser at 1:17 PM PDT, May 5, 2009
After releasing it first to MSN and TechNet subscribers, Microsoft has now made the Windows 7 Release Candidate available for download to the general public. The Release Candidate is more or less the finished version of Windows 7, which will be released commercially later this year.
You can download and install 32-bit and 64-bit versions on your computer and test drive it for free for a year. The RC expires on June 1, 2010, but in kind of a weird decision, starting on March 1, 2010, the RC will start shutting down your computer every two hours until you buy a license for it. (Why not just make it expire then...?) Note that even if you're already running a copy of the Windows 7 beta, you'll need to format and completely reinstall the Release Candidate.
The RC doesn't bring any radical new features over the beta except for a new "Windows XP compatibility mode" and a more stable version of Internet Explorer 8, but it incorporates many bugfixes and security issues based on feedback from the beta release, including improvements to Device Stage and the Security Center. The beta was already scoring fairly well on stability, so expect this to be a commercial-quality product. However, you should still always take care when installing development candidates: back up your critical data and be aware that catastrophic crashes are always a possibility. Also note that no technical support is provided, so novice users should probably give this a pass for now.
Here's what else you should know, taken from the Release Candidate download page:
You don't need to rush to get the RC. The RC will be available at least through July 2009 and we're not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.
Watch the calendar. The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, youâ€™ll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. Youâ€™ll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use. (Learn more about installing Windows.)
Protect your PC and data. Be sure to back up your data and please don't test the RC on your primary home or business PC.
Tech details/updates: Before installing the RC, please read the Release Notes and Things to Know for important information about the release.
Keep up with the news. You can keep up with general technical information and news by following the team blog. And, you can get non-technical news, tips, and offers by subscribing to the monthly Exploring Windows newsletter.
Keep your PC updated: Be sure to turn on automatic updates in Windows Update in case we publish updates for the RC.
Installation: You can install the Windows 7 RC on a PC running Windows Vista without backing up the PCâ€”but we encourage you to make a backup for safe keeping. If youâ€™re running Windows XP or the Windows 7 Beta, youâ€™ll need to backup your data, then do a clean installation of the RC, then reinstall your applications and restore your data. If you need to do a backup, please see How to back up your PC for more details and a suggestion for how to backup a PC running Windows 7 Beta or Windows Vista.
To install and use the RC, you'll need to know how to:
Troubleshoot problems. You're pretty much flying solo, so you'll need to handle your own tech support, and rely on other RC testers for their know-how
Burn an ISO file to make an installation DVD
Backup and restore your PC
Set up a network
Create and use a system recovery disk
We'll give our thoughts on the Release Candidate in the coming weeks. Be sure to let us know your experiences as well.
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