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Consumers can download the Release Candidate build of Microsoft's slick new OS, Windows 7, and try it out for themselves. Both 32- and 64-bit versions are available for download.
Consumers can finally get their hands on a near-release copy of the latest version of Windows

Windows 7 has the tech community and the consumer world buzzing.  For consumers, it has been a long four months since the release of the Windows 7 beta which saw hundreds of thousands of downloads.  Some turned to torrents to try to swipe the newer beta builds or the recent Release Candidate, but for most it was a matter of waiting.

The waiting is over at last as Microsoft has officially released the Release Candidate 1 build of Windows 7 to the general public.  The build is available directly from Microsoft for download.

Microsoft is suggesting that novice users not download the build as no tech support will be provided.  Customers who download the build will have to burn the ISO onto a disk.  Unlike the more recent beta candidate builds, the RC1 build requires a complete reinstall, even on machines with a working build of Windows 7.

Both 32- and 64-bit versions of the build are available.  Microsoft recommends users' computers have at least 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of free disk space.

Microsoft is promising not to limit the number of downloads of the new release, like it initially did for the beta release (before later relenting and allowing unlimited downloads).  The beta release proved a headache for some, as the large demand crashed some of Microsoft's servers at the time, rendering many eager users unable to download the beta from Microsoft.  Microsoft is hoping that this time around things go more smoothly.

The test builds of Windows 7 will work until June 2010, but starting in March 2010 they will shut down every two hours.

Microsoft has publicly stated that Windows 7 will launch "no later than January 2010."  However, it now appears that the new OS will land in time for the holiday season, as Acer has leaked its release date as October 23.

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RE: Working OK so far
By icanhascpu on 5/5/2009 9:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
and it is 2-3 times faster than Vista x64

I'd love to know what is improving that much.

RE: Working OK so far
By Sazar on 5/5/2009 11:46:51 AM , Rating: 3
File copy, disk cleanup, disk defragment are all items which have sped up tremendously.

Also there is no inherent lag here and there like I would experience sometimes under Vista.

I have 3 machines, 1 with Vista Enterprise and 2 with Windows 7 at the moment and overall, I don't notice a lot of difference in day to day stuff.

But, Aero peek is vastly superior to anything else I have used before and I love not having Vista Sidebar running.

Also, the new Media Center is massively more responsive and intuitive than before. XP Media Center sucks, Vista Media Center is pretty good, Win 7 Media Center is just about perfect.

Lastly, adjusting to larger fonts/icons for a media center tv setup is not only smooth but it is readible without any of the inherent fuzziness from XP and Vista.

Well done Microsoft :D

RE: Working OK so far
By Spivonious on 5/5/2009 4:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
They also did some work on the graphics system to use video card memory for drawing windows instead of system memory. That right there should give a huge speed increase and lower memory usage.

channel 9 has some videos about it. (

RE: Working OK so far
By Sazar on 5/5/2009 5:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't notice this as much, but then I usually turn off my animations.

Regardless, items like Aero Peak on my HTPC (2GB mem, AMD sckt 939 4400+ proc) are running flawlessly. I also have an 8800 g92 gpu in there. Vista ran fine, Win 7 runs much smoother from what I have experienced and just having the larger fonts SMOOTHLY represented makes my life easier :D

I keep my taskbar at the top of the screen and there is still an issue with some of my apps and their close buttons appearing underneath my locked taskbar, however middle-clock to close works fine :)

RE: Working OK so far
By jrb531 on 5/6/2009 2:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
Any reason why you do not shut off Vista Sidebar?

You close it down the first time and it asks "do you want to run this at startup"

Seems easy to me


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