Microsoft has released its Windows 7 Release Candidate, the next stage towards the full rollout of its next operating system. The company has been pushing for Windows 7, due for final release later this year, to succeed in all the ways that its last operating system, Vista, did not. Microsoft continues to wrestle with a global recessionary environment dragging down its revenues and profit.
launched its Windows 7 Release Candidate late on May 4, months before the final
rollout of its next-generation operating system.
Release Candidate features several small tweaks over the beta version
particularly in the areas of security and tuning. Microsoft
has been pushing Windows 7
particularly hard through a variety of push
marketing, end-user and partner outreach strategies, in a bid to make the
operating system a success. Its last OS release, Vista,
is widely regarded as something of a misfire.
also has a lot riding on the project
, especially in the face of dismal
quarterly results and a global economic downturn dragging on its traditionally
sturdy revenue stream. For the fiscal third quarter ended March 31, the company
reported a 6.5 percent year-over-year decrease in revenues, to $13.65 billion,
with net income of $2.98 billion; it marked the Redmond
giant's first-ever quarterly revenue decline. The Release Candidate is available for download here
Microsoft will utilize users' experiences with the Release
Candidate to further refine the operating system before its final release,
likely late in 2009. The company will not be offering technical support in
conjunction with the download, but a corporate Website
certain late-breaking issues and information about potential problems, notably
with AppLocker and Internet Explorer 8.
On the Microsoft TechNet Website, the company made several
key points about the release. First, Windows 7 RC will be available "at least
through June 2009," and expire on June 1, 2010. However, beginning on March 1, 2010, the user's PC will
begin shutting down every two hours unless a non-expired version of Windows is
installed before that date. "Be sure to back up your data," the Microsoft TechNet site
also warns, "and please don't test Windows 7 RC on your primary home or
business PC."The Release Candidate will be available in English, German,
Japanese, French and Spanish, and will not be available in Hindi or Arabic. Microsoft
included a link to a "Things to Know" page here
In addition to the Internet access needed to download
Windows 7 RC, Microsoft says that systems running the OS will need a 1 GHz
32-bit or 64-bit processor (or higher), at least 1 GB of system memory, 16 GB
of available disk space, support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB, and a DVD-R/W
drive. Additional hardware may be needed for features such as watching live TV
or "touch" navigation.