Computers

Windows 7 Release Candidate available to the public

Windows 7 Release Candidate av...
Windows 7
Windows 7
View 1 Image
Windows 7
1/1
Windows 7

If you missed out on the limited public beta release (Build 7000) of Windows 7 back in January, here's your chance to score the first release candidate (Build 7100) of Microsoft's big redeemer. This time around, there'll be no limit on the number of downloads or the number of serial numbers given out - until the end of July, that is.

Just head over to www.microsoft.com with your Windows Live ID in hand to start the 2.5GB download and grab a serial number. If you don't have a Windows Live ID, you can easily sign up for free.

The RC will be fully functional until March 1, 2010. Those of you still using the beta should start preparing for a reformat - as your machine will start shutting down every two hours on July 1.

If you're looking for a little help getting the RC onto a machine without a DVD drive, try reading our guide How to install Windows 7 on an IdeaPad S10 (or other netbook) without a DVD drive. It was written when the beta arrived, but will still help get up and running with the RC.

Tim Hanlon

1 comment
Technocrate
As expected, the Windows 7 Release Candidate (build 7100) is now available to the public for download. The beta keys Microsoft gave out during the public beta will work just fine with this build. The RC is available in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. This is different from the beta, which was available in English (32-bit and 64-bit), German (32-bit and 64-bit), Japanese (32-bit and 64-bit), Arabic (32-bit and 64-bit), and Hindi (32-bit). If you are already on the beta, Microsoft recommends a clean install of the RC build: the upgrade path is not supported. There are ways to get around this limit, but I also recommend that you backup all your data and do a clean install. Build 7100 will expire on June 1, 2010. However, starting on March 1, 2010, Windows 7 will begin shutting down every two hours.