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Windows 7 RC by Early May, Site Suggests

Microsoft again may have disclosed a hint about when the Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7 will be available -- possibly before May 5.

Microsoft again may have disclosed a hint about when the Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7 will be available -- possibly before May 5.

Microsoft didn't release that May 5 date, which may be the general public availability date. Instead, an article published by Ars Technica captured a screenshot of a Microsoft partner page with information about the Windows 7 RC. The screenshot suggests that Microsoft's MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) and TechNet subscribers can get the RC before May 5.

"Partners: If you have a subscription to MSDN or TechNet, you can download Windows 7 RC now. Otherwise, you can download Windows 7 RC starting May 5, 2009," the screenshot explains. The page has since been changed.

A similar Microsoft Web page posting mistake (or intentional leak of information) happened last month. That errant post also suggested that the RC of Windows 7 would be available in May.

Windows 7 is Microsoft's newest operating system, currently available only as a public beta for testing purposes. Microsoft has typically suggested that Windows 7 will be generally available as a finished product sometime in early 2010, but the company has not published a time line for its release.

A representative of an original equipment manufacturer that partners with Microsoft claimed that OEMs would have access to Windows 7 in the fall of 2009. Such a release schedule, if true, could set the stage for a December rollout of new PCs loaded with Windows 7.

The RC version represents Microsoft's final testing and bug-fix stage, typically with no new features added to the OS. The next stage after RC will be release to manufacturing, followed by a general product release to the public.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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