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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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Can you instal from a USB drive?
By Mr Perfect on 5/5/2009 1:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know if you can install the RC from a USB drive instead of a DVD?




RE: Can you instal from a USB drive?
By TomZ on 5/5/2009 1:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Can you instal from a USB drive?
By Slinger2112 on 5/5/2009 1:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't watch the video, so I can't comment on the content, but here's the first search find on technet for the topic: http://edge.technet.com/Media/Installing-Win7-usin...

Its 7 mins. long. I didn't login, so I assume its accessable to the public. So... by the title of the article, I would assume the answer to your question is, 'Yes'. Good luck! Let us know if/how it works...


By Starcub on 5/6/2009 3:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
I just managed to install the RC from an SDHC disk. The process was fairly simple. Just extract the ~3GB image on to your hard drive, format your removeable drive NTFS, run the bootsect program from the image to make the removeable drive bootable, and finally copy all the extracted files onto the removeable drive (it takes a little over 3GB of space). The install process went much faster than Vista, and, with updates, the install takes up just over 15GB of space.


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