Want to find out what the buzz is all about Windows 7? Now is the perfect time: Microsoft just released “Release Candidate 1” for Windows 7. For those that are not familiar with the application development process, when a program (such as Windows 7) reaches the “RC” stage, that means the final product will be very similar to the RC – only minor changes will be made before official release.
The good thing about Windows 7 RC1 is that you can use it until June 1, 2010 – the key will expire then. However Windows 7 RC1 will start shutting down every two hours starting on March 1, 2010; you are supposed to have purchased a copy by then (and/or upgrade to the next RC version):
The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you’ll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You’ll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use.
Windows 7 RC1 will be available for download at least until June 2009 and there is no cap on how many people can download it.
These are the system requirements for Windows 7 RC1:
- 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
You can learn more and download Windows 7 RC1 from the Windows 7 homepage.