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Archive for February 2013

On Thursday, the Release Candidate version of Windows 7 was prematurely made available for download on, as Microsoft is in the process of drafting up the final version of the operating system to be released later this year.

The page that made the download possible for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems, has since been removed, since it’s only supposed to be made available to the public in the month of May. The testing program will remain open for approximately one month, until June, but the build itself won’t expire for another year.

The following content was made available by Microsoft on the download page:

Windows 7 Release Candidate
Published: May 2009

Download instructions

Welcome to Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) testing. We’re on our way to Windows 7, and the RC is a great opportunity for IT professionals like you to take Windows 7 and begin testing it in your real environment. You get to see what’s coming, and we get to see if our changes and fixes from the Beta testing are working correctly. We want to encourage you to install and actively test the RC code. This will help us ensure Windows 7 is the best possible release, and help you get ready for Windows 7 deployment.
Here’s what you need to know:

  • This is pre-release software, so please read the following to get an idea of the risks and key things you need to know before you try the RC.
  • You don’t need to rush to get Windows 7 RC. The RC release will be available at least through June 2009 and we’re not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.
  • Watch the calendar. Windows 7 RC will expire on June 1, 2010. So if you install the RC release you’ll either need to upgrade to the final version of Windows 7 before that date, or install a prior version of Windows. (For more about installing Windows, see installation instructions.
  • Protect your PC and data . Be sure to back up your data and please don’t test Windows 7 RC on your primary home or business PC.
  • Technical 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 Springboard Series blog or Windows team blog. Want technical guidance, tips, and tools? Visit the Springboard Series on TechNet.
  • And, you can get non-technical news, tips, and offers on the Springboard Series on TechNet
  • Keep your PC updated: Be sure turn on automatic updates in Windows Update in case we publish updates for the RC.
  • Microsoft Partners: Learn more about Windows 7on the Microsoft Partner Portal.

Here’s what you need to have:

  •     Internet access (to download Windows 7 RC and get updates)
  •     A PC with these minimum recommended specifications:

                    1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor or higher
1 GB of system memory or more
16 GB of available disk space
Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (to enable the Aero theme)
DVD-R/W Drive

Please note these specifications could change. And, some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of “touch,” may require advanced or additional hardware.
Get the download

The 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 RC are available in five languages: English, German, Japanese, French, and Spanish. (Note: The RC version will not be available in Hindi or Arabic.) Just choose the version that fits the system you’ll be using, pick your language, and click go to register for and download the RC.

Downloading the Windows 7 RC could take a few hours. The exact time will depend on your provider, bandwidth, and traffic. The good news is that once you start the download, you won’t have to answer any more questions – you can walk away while it finishes. If your download gets interrupted, it will restart where it left off. See this FAQ for details.

Existing TechNet Plus subscribers, download the Windows 7 RC software here. Not a subscriber yet? Learn more about TechNet Plus.
Select the Windows 7 RC version you want to download

Choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions, based on the version of Windows you are currently running and your machine’s hardware configuration. Each version is available in five languages: English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

Download the 32-bit (x86) version: Select Your LanguageEnglishFrenchGermanJapaneseSpanish

Download the 64-bit (x64) version: Select Your LanguageEnglishFrenchGermanJapaneseSpanish

Information about Windows 7 is preliminary and subject to change. Some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of “touch,” may require advanced or additional hardware. The features and functionality you find in the pre-release product may not appear in the final version of Windows 7. If we change the software before it’s released, we’ll change this information accordingly. We’re not making express or implied warranties with this information.

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As expected, Microsoft will be handing out a pre-beta version of Windows 7 during the PDC2008 conference to all its attendees, on an external 160GB hard drive. However, it’s likely that after the PDC ends, Microsoft will make Windows 7 available to a larger group of beta testers.

Microsoft shows excitement over the release of its pre-beta version of Windows 7 at the end of October during the PDC2008 conference in Los Angeles.

“We’ll [...] be giving every attendee a pre-beta copy of Windows 7. Yes, you heard that right. You’ll be able to install your own copy of Windows 7 and play with it on your hardware. This is a very limited release, and PDC2008 attendees will be the first to get it.” said Mike Swanson, a well known technical evangelist at Microsoft. Mike also announced there will be 17 additional Windows 7 sessions during the PDC, and even more are expected to come. Some of the newly introduced sessions include ”Integrate with the Windows 7 Desktop Taskbar,” “New APIs to Find, Visualize and Organize,” and “Best Practices for Developing for Windows Standard User.”

Steven Sinofsky, one of the writers behind the Engineering Windows 7 blog and a senior engineer manager at Microsoft, will be also present at the PDC to hold a keynote on Windows 7 and answer questions. Sinofsky will also be seen at WinHEC where he’ll hold the keynote speach on Windows 7 on November 5.

The new operating system will be distributed on an external 160GB USB hard drive by Western Digital.


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Microsoft has announced that the final, official name of the next version of Windows will be the same as the codename – Windows 7 – making this the first version of Windows to keep its codename as its release name.

The codename Windows 7 has turned out to be more than just a codename this time around for Microsoft, as the company has agreed to keep things simple and keep the name Windows 7 for the final release of the operating system as well.

As Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management puts it:

“The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows. We’ve used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or “aspirational” monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista. And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, coming up with an all-new “aspirational” name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows.”

This is the first time a Windows version has used its codename also as the name of the final release, and also one of the earliest naming announcements from Microsoft, as Windows 7 hasn’t even reached its first beta version. A pre-beta will be handed out to attendees of the PDC and WinHEC conferences taking place later this month.

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