Microsoft has finally released the release candidate of its next operating system, Windows 7, to the general public and will allow millions to test it for at least 11 months without any hiccups.
The software, which punters will need to use at their own risks, expires officially on the 1st of June 2010 but starting in March next year, machines with Windows 7 will start to shut down every 2 hours. This, Microsoft hopes, will encourage consumers to switch over to the new, non-expired version.
Windows 7 is likely to be released as early as October 2009 and is already available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, in five different languages (English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish). Minimum requirements for the 32-bit version are as follows : 1GHz or faster CPU, 1GB memory or more, 16GB disk space and DirectX 9 or better.
You should be able to upgrade from any operating system up to the release candidate without any issues. The installation process is intuitive enough to allow even novice users to make the right choices.
There is no limits on the number of Windows 7 RC that users can download over the trial period (which ends in July 2009), which means that you should be able to install them on all your computers if you want to. The 2.4GB ISO file is also available on bit-torrent although you would certainly need to be careful about Trojan infected versions.
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For the first time in more than a decade, we are impressed by a Windows OS again. We genuinely look forward to updating to Windows 7 when it is officially released. We've already installed it on our main working computer and the jump from Windows XP to Windows 7 appears to be as enthralling as the one from Windows Millennium to XP. Great times indeed.
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