windows 7The Windows 7 release candidate is now available for immediate download.

Putting out a release candidate is one of the last stages before a program is officially put into the marketplace, and that is exactly where Windows 7 is at this moment.  As of today you can download Windows 7 Release Candidate (presumably #1), and you’ll be able to use it free of charge up until June 1st, 2010.  However, there is a catch to that 13 months of free Windows; starting on March 1st, 2010, your system will shut down every two hours to remind you that you are still using a release candidate copy.

Oh well, still 10 months of free Windows isn’t too shabby.

The download page lists some other caveats and suggestions for you keep in mind before you go crazy with your Windows 7 upgrading.  (following list courtesy of Microsoft)

  • You don’t need to rush to get the RC. The RC will be available at least through July 2009 and we’re not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.
  • Watch the calendar. The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you’ll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You’ll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use. (Learn more about installing Windows.)
  • Protect your PC and data. Be sure to back up your data and please don’t test the RC on your primary home or business PC.
  • Tech 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 team blog. And, you can get non-technical news, tips, and offers by subscribing to the monthly Exploring Windows newsletter.
  • Keep your PC updated: Be sure to turn on automatic updates in Windows Update in case we publish updates for the RC.
  • Installation: You can install the Windows 7 RC on a PC running Windows Vista without backing up the PC—but we encourage you to make a backup for safe keeping. If you’re running Windows XP or the Windows 7 Beta, you’ll need to backup your data, then do a clean installation of the RC, then reinstall your applications and restore your data. If you need to do a backup, please see How to back up your PC for more details and a suggestion for how to backup a PC running Windows 7 Beta or Windows Vista.

All good suggestions, and please pay close attention to the one about not putting this on your primary machine!  This is still not a final release, and you WILL encounter bugs.

This all just makes me think even more within a few years people will go, “There was a Windows version called ‘Vista’?  Huh… never heard of it.”

Categories: Windows 7, Windows XP   

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Jolene
    May 5th, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    Saw this over somewhere else ( another geek site, who knows ). I'm guessing that 03/2010 they are looking for a commercial final release if the RC starts shutting down? I don't have a problem with Vista. We have it on both laptops, but we kept XP on the PCs. We bought the laptops new and am not going to pay for Vista to upgrade the PC.

    Anyway – did the podcast this am and have CB in the RSS reader now :D

  2. Vincenzo Pothoven
    September 18th, 2016 at 12:33 am #

    cheapoair discount

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