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Windows 7 RC on May 5, Windows 7 Build 7082 Already Here
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[Image: windows7rconmay5windows.jpg]
The fully-fledged Release Candidate of Windows 7 is planned for availability on May 5, 2009. Testers should not expect Windows 7 client RC alone, as Microsoft is also set to make available Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate also on May 5. The information was provided by the Microsoft Partner Program website, and indicated that the company's partners as well as MSDN and TechNet subscribers could access the full RC bits of Windows 7 as of April 18. As far as MSDN and TechNet are concerned I can confirm that subscribers continue to have access only to the Beta Build 7000 of Windows 7, and that the RC of the next iteration of Windows was not live at the time of this article. However, Microsoft continues to advance steadfast toward the signing-off of Windows 7 RC, and offered Build 7082 to select testers.

“We are pleased to announce that Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is available. Windows 7 RC is the prerelease version of Windows 7. Since this is not the final release, your PC will gather and send information to Microsoft engineers to help them check the fixes and changes made based on testing of Windows 7 Beta,” reads the message from Microsoft to partners, via Bink. “Test-drive Windows 7 RC today to see for yourself—and to show your colleagues and customers—how Windows 7 delivers improved management, security, reliability, and performance. Download Windows 7 RC. 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.” (emphasis added)

[Image: windows7rconmay5windows.png]

There is no telling whether the details provided by the software giant via the Microsoft Partner Program website are in concordance with partners actually receiving the Windows 7 RC bits. As I have already said, this scenarios is not valid for MSDN and TechNet, where Microsoft continues to serve Build 7000 and the associated activation product keys and downloads. Speculation indicates that some of the Redmond company's closes partners, OEMs in particular, have indeed been granted early access to Windows 7 RC. In this context, MSDN and TechNet subscribers will have to wait a tad longer, no telling just how long. As far as the public is concerned, May 5 is the day they need to look forward to.

Meanwhile, Windows 7 Build 7082 from the RC-branch was handed to testers. PCBeta is offering a few screenshots of the Chinese version of Windows 7 Build 7082. The past week, Windows 7 Build 7106, from the RTM-branch, also in Chinese, was leaked in the wild and is now available for download via torrent websites.

[Image: windows7rconmay5windows.jpg]
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