Last Call: Download Windows 7 RC Before August 15

Dennis Faas's picture

Don't delay too long if you're thinking of downloading the highly sought after Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC). According to a recent statement from Microsoft, it plans to shut off the downloads on August 15.

Installation After Cutoff Date

The August cut off date -- about seven weeks from now -- doesn't mean that those who've downloaded the Windows 7 RC will all of a sudden lose the ability to use it. In fact, Microsoft says that it can still be installed even after that cut off date.

"The [Release Candidate] download program closes August 15. After that, you won't be able to get the download, but you can still install the RC and get a key if you need one," said blogger Stephen Rose, a Microsoft employee. (Source:

Release Candidate Service Until 2010

Microsoft's Release Candidate has been in service since early May of this year. Release Candidates are considered the closest version of an operating system prior to their move onto store shelves, meaning that the Windows 7 RC has been quite popular. After all, many PC owners are hopeful that this new OS, which ships in its final state on October 22, is a big step up from 2007's much-maligned Windows Vista.

Those who download the Release Candidate before August 15 will be able to use it until this time next year. However, on March 1, 2010 Release Candidate software will automatically shut down every two hours, and by June 1, 2010 it won't work at all. That's Microsoft's way of nudging consumers towards purchasing the full version of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Beta: Expires August 1, 2009

Microsoft didn't pass up the chance to encourage Windows 7 Beta users to upgrade to the Release Candidate as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Beta service ends very soon -- August 1, in fact -- and by July 1 users can expect reboots every couple hours. "[Users] need to move to the RC and fast," said Rose. (Source:

Microsoft's Windows 7 Release Candidate is available using the link below, along with activation key:

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