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Windows 7 Release CandidateWindows 7 Release Candidate have now been made available for the public. Thank you Dwen for bringing my attention to the TechRepublic news about this. Though I am subscribed to TechRepublic too, I don’t really pay much attention to it most of the time. They automagically go into a folder of its own, bypassing my Inbox.

I sort of missed the cut to download Windows 7 Beta. However, with this Windows 7 Release Candidate Customer Preview Program, Microsoft is not putting any limit to the number of downloads nor product keys. The download will be made available until July 2009. So, if you’re currently busy, don’t fret. Get it when you are free.

This Windows 7 Release Candidate, as usual does have an expiry date. It expires June 1, 2010. That gives you about one year of usage. The system, however, will begin to annoy you come March 1, 2010. That’s when it will begin to automagically shutdown after every two hours of usage. Lovely right? Will “shutdown -a” work here?

Should you still be using this Windows 7 Release Candidate by March 1, 2010? I suppose you can if you want to. But then, if you like the system, go get the proper version. One year from now, there might even be a Windows 7 SP1 already. Why stick with a Release Candidate? Otherwise, fall back to an operating system of your choice.

Windows 7 Installation Screenshot

Windows 7 Installation Screenshot

Who should give this Windows 7 RC a try? Well, if you have an extra machine just lying around doing nothing. Why not download this new offering from Microsoft and give it a run? It’s not going to costs you anything apart from time and effort. If you don’t have any of those to spare, oh well..

If you don’t have an extra machine to test run Windows 7 Release Candidate, you can probably just utilize the current machine you are using. Several options you have if using your current machine.

  1. Overwrite the currently installed OS with Windows 7 Release Candidate
  2. Install Windows 7 RC to dual boot with the current OS
  3. Install Windows 7 RC into a virtual machine in your current system

Personally, I would recommend the third option. This requires you to be familiar with virtualization. There are many virtualization players today. Not familiar with virtualization? Don’t worry about it. Virtualization basically allows you to run another set of Operating System (known as guest OS)  from within your current system (known as host OS).  Picture In Picture technology in television sets comes to my mind if you need something to compare this with.

VMWare Server, Microsoft Virtual PC, or Sun Virtual Box are among the well known virtualization software you can use to test out Windows 7 Release Candidate. You’ll need to install any one of the above mentioned software first, though.

I am really interested in giving Windows 7 RC a run on this nx6330 of mine. Will have to find some time to backup all the important junk I have in here at the moment. Where’s that super large external drive of mine? Oh yeah, I don’t have one. Time to go get one perhaps?

I don’t want to go the virtual way. I’m thinking 64bit. That’s why. Can’t run a 64bit VM in a 32bit OS, which I’m running on right now.

Downloading Windows 7 RC

Downloading Windows 7 RC

Ok. I’m off to download Windows 7 Release Candidate now. Will be a while before  I actually get to install it, though. Let’s just download it first. Downloading will certainly take a while. The 32bit version is sized at 2.36GB. This will take me more than 7 hours to download.

In the meantime, think I’ll check out some online resources on Windows 7:

What do you think? Are you giving Windows 7 a shot? Did you try out the Beta? Will you upgrade to Windows 7? Would you still run XP? Any Windows 2008 core users? Is there a Windows 7 core? Would you run a Windows 7 core?