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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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MD5 Checksum
By blogmaster on 5/5/2009 4:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
Can anyone who have downloaded the file please provide me the MD5 Checksum of this latest Windows 7 RC ISO image (32-bit version)?
the name of the file is like below:

7100.0.090421-1700_x86fre_client_en-us_retail_ult imate-grc1culfrer_en_dvd.iso

Actually I am using a very slow internet connection to download the file (32 KBps, Asia,Bangladesh) and so can't download within a few hours but will take some 2-3 days, the problem is with the electrical blackout/loadshedding in my country, and so I think if the file get corrupted. So need to check the file before burning/using the image on a DVD/bootable pendrive.

Please, I will appreciate a reply. It is very simple to get the checksum using Fastsum utility. please help me.

RE: MD5 Checksum
By omnicronx on 5/5/2009 4:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
These should be correct.

MD5: 8867C13330F56A93944BCD46DCD73590
SHA1: 7D1F486CA569EFFFFB719CFB48355BB7BF499712

MD5: 98341AF35655137966E382C4FEAA282D
SHA1: FC867FE1AB2E0A9796F9E4D155B44EA6998F4874

softpedia released this info, and I've personally checked against what my friend downloaded from MSDN too and they match. (i got it from a torrent a few days back and wanted to make sure)

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