Windows 7 RC1 Arrives May 5th

Dennis Faas's picture

Those anticipating Windows 7, Microsoft's new operating system, will be happy to hear that the Redmond-based software giant will make its Release Candidate 1 (RC1) edition available soon. Starting May 5, Microsoft will provide Windows 7 RC1 through and

There's been some confusion about the download date. Microsoft's Partner Program site not so long ago bragged that the Windows 7 Release Candidate was already available, luring users in with the promise that the build was available "now".

However, as Ars Technica recently found out, that appears to be a typo and the full RC version (not just the beta) will be available early May. As time goes by and more insiders pore over the information, it appears as though May 5 will be the specific date for release. (Source:

What is a Release Candidate?

A Release Candidate represents the middle ground between a beta and the final release of an operating system. Similar to a TV pilot, beta releases are closely monitored and tested by the manufacturer (Microsoft) as it is runs on downloaders' computers. According to Microsoft's own site, "[Windows 7 will] gather and send information to Microsoft engineers to help them check the fixes and changes made based on testing of Windows 7 Beta."

If you're not comfortable with having Microsoft tuned in at all times, you might want to wait for the final release, either later this year or early 2010.

"Improved Management, Security, Reliability, and Performance."

However, for those of you who don't mind playing the guinea pig, the Release Candidate could be an exciting venture. It should include a number of the suggestions made by users after the Windows 7 beta release earlier this year.

Of course, the most anticipated thing about Win7 is that, well, it isn't Vista, Microsoft's much-maligned OS from early 2007. Microsoft boasts that Windows 7 offers "improved management, security, reliability, and performance."

Looks like we'll know more about those promises in another few weeks. Most insiders speculate that the download should be available through June, remaining activated for about a year's time. (Source:

It's also worth noting that there may be several Release Candidates (RC1, RC2, RC3, etc) released until the final version of Windows 7 is ready for mass production.

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