Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) Publicly Available for Download
Article by George Norman
On 05 May 2009
A new milestone has been achieved in the development process of the Windows 7 operating system, mainly the release of Windows 7 Release Candidate. The Microsoft developed OS has been released by the Redmond software giant a few days ago, but only to TechNet and MSDN subscribers; the RC has now become publicly available, meaning that anyone interested in it can download and put it to the test.

You can download Windows 7 Release Candidate for 32-bit and 64-bit processor machines; there are no download limits, but if history is to be taken into consideration, Microsoft’s servers could crack under the huge demand. This is precisely what happened when Microsoft made Windows 7 Beta publicly available – on a side note, at that time Microsoft was not exactly expecting the general public to be as interested in Windows 7 as it was, not to mention that hoards of fans rushed to get the Beta because Microsoft announced it will limit the number of downloads. With the download limitation out the window so to speak, there really should not be any problems in downloading the RC.


Microsoft is advising Windows fans and testers not to rush. Not only because the number of RC downloads is not limited in any way, but also because Windows 7 Release Candidate “will be available at least through July 2009”. Once you do get the RC you will be able to use it with no problems (you will have to get a product key and activate the OS), until March 1, 2010. The official expiration date of Windows 7 RC is June 1, 2010, but starting with the 1st of March the OS will start shutting down every 2 hours. This is Microsoft’s way of getting you to switch from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM; and if Acer is to be believed, Windows 7 RTM should be out well before 2010.

If your system cannot meet the minimal requirements needed to run Windows 7, don’t even bother downloading the RC. The system requirements for Windows 7 are as follows:
Minimal system requirements:
Processor: 32-bit 800MHz processor
Memory (RAM): 512MB
Graphics card: DirectX 9.0 capable
Graphics memory: 32MB
HDD space: 16GB
Other drives: DVD-ROM
Audio: Audio Output

Recommended system requirements:
Processor: 32-bit or 64-bit 1GHz processor
Memory (RAM): 1GB
Graphics card: DirectX 9.0 capable
Graphics memory: 32MB
HDD space: 16GB
Other drives: DVD-ROM
Audio: Audio Output

If you would like to get Windows 7 Release Candidate, you can download it directly from Microsoft here.

UPDATE: Activation keys available here .

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7, Release Candidate
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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