In many times gone by now Microsoft has had situations where information has suddenly come online ahead of the planned schedule release date “unintentionally” and “accidentally” and the releasing information for Windows 7 with respect to the upcoming Release Candidate is no different. These events are always defended as true errors but often considered tactical marketing ploys to generate buzz and interest.
I stand in the accusing group and I hate justifying the event but I am so excited over the promise of Windows 7 that I have no choice but to play into it.
The Windows 7 Release Candidate download page on TechNet suddenly showed up online and available for review for a short while a few days before it was supposed to officially show up (according to the Microsoft website Windows 7 Release Candidate will be available for download by the public on May 5, with early access for MSDN/TechNet subscribers and beta testers on April 30.)
The Release Candidate build is supposed to be tagged as build 7100, and the additional information that been supplied regarding the testing program indicates that it will be available at least through June 2009. Communications around the planned Release Candidate build 7100 peg the expiration date of the bits as June 1, 2010.
It is supposed to be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions in English, German, Japanese, French, and Spanish and the details from the leaked page showed as much.
The leaked information showed the system requirements as:
When the site was live it included the following information (as shown below); the obvious caveat being that the information may change once the actual page shows back up on line.
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.
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.
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 Language English French German Japanese Spanish
Download the 64-bit (x64) version: Select Your Language English French German Japanese Spanish
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.
That’s the end of the leaked information as it showed posted on the Microsoft site.
I am a MSDN/TechNet subscriber so I will be loitering around online on April 30 hoping to “see” the bits show up and start a nice early download session as I am looking forward to doing my own test driving of the Release Candidate. I’ll be planning to do all of my future tutorials and walk throughs with that release as well.
If you’d like to become a Technet Plus Direct subscriber, go sign up now!
May 1st Update: The Windows 7 Release Candidate is now live on Technet Plus, days earlier than the public release!