Microsoft has unleashed the release candidate version of its latest operating system and successor of Vista, Windows 7, for MSDN and TechNet subscribers with the general public getting the download on the 5th of May.
More than one million of "automated performance testing" hours as well as the analysis of over 200 Terabytes of test data - the equivalent of 40,000 DVDs - have been put into the development of Windows 7 RC from its Beta since the beginning of the year.
In addition, million of users will be able to test the pre-release of Windows RC for 12 months (ed: actually a bit longer than that), until the end of May 2010 although by the end of February, the OS will reboot every couple of hours.
It will also give the opportunity for organisations to test drive the new operating system before jumping on the Windows 7 bandwagon.
IT Professionals will be able to use the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack which will help entreprise customers become more effective and underpins Windows 7 value-for-money attractiveness.
More than 32,000 participants from more than 10,000 companies have been involved in the analysis process, with many of them pinning their hopes on the new operating system to kickstart the morose tech market.
Ben Gray of Forrester Research said in an independent report that “The beta of Windows 7 shows significant promise, and most IT operations professionals are looking forward to its availability and eventual enterprise deployment ... start preparing for it now, and the best way to prepare for Windows 7 is by deploying Windows Vista."
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We strongly advise companies to download and install Windows 7 at least on a test machine. Millions are likely to download the release candidate and it is equally likely that within a few months, someone will be able to crack the operating system's protection shell. There are some significant differences between the beta version and the release candidate version. Pity though that there's no upgrade path between the two.
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