Windows 7 RC now publicly available

Windows 7 logo

The release candidate (RC) of Microsoft's next generation operating system, Windows 7, is now widely available to download.

Following on from last week's special early download access for MSDN and TechNet account holders, those without such credentials can now have a poke around the new operating system.

"Your PC, simplified. You told us what you want in a PC. We listened. And made hundreds of little improvements and a few big ones that add up to a whole lot less. Less waiting, fewer clicks, and less complexity," claims Microsoft on its Windows 7 site where you can now download the RC.

"With less of what you don't need, Windows 7 helps you do more. More work, more play, and more of everything in between. Making every task simpler and every day easier. See for yourself."

Microsoft reckons that partners are rushing in droves to support the release of Windows 7.

"Since Java is one of the most widely distributed software platforms in the market today, it is critical that Java SE provides excellent Windows support for both enterprise customers and consumers," said Octavian Tanase, senior director of Java platform engineering at Sun Microsystems.

"Our Java software team has been working closely with the Windows 7 management and engineering teams at Microsoft since early in the development cycle to ensure the best performance, quality and experience for our joint customers."

Carlos Montalvo, vice president of product experience marketing within HP's personal systems group, added: "We are working closely with [Microsoft] as they develop Windows 7 to make sure our customers can take full advantage of the latest features.

"The Windows 7 platform will allow HP to bring continued innovation breakthroughs like HP TouchSmart notebooks and desktops to market and to deliver a great computing experience to our customers."

The beta of Windows 7 has been generally well received thus far, including by IT PRO[i/] during our first look at the operating system.

But what's in it for businesses? Click here for the top 10 Windows 7 business features and here for the top 10 overall features of the new operating system.

Keen to know the main differences between the beta and the RC? Check back on the site later today to find out.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.