Unless you’ve been living under a rock since ages, you would be very well aware about the public release of Windows 7 Release Candidate. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of signing up and so on, here are the direct download links for both 32 and 64 bit version of the RC.
x86 (32 bit) 2.35 GB
x64 (64 bit) 3.04 GB
Do remember to grab your activation keys from the Windows 7 website. Also keep in mind that the RC and Beta build both are time bombed and will expire. Here’s the fine print you should be aware of before giving the RC a try and really, you shouldn’t be using the Beta now anyhow.
Please remember: both the Windows 7 Beta AND Windows 7 RC will expire.
- For Beta, bi-hourly shutdowns will begin July 1st, 2009. You will be alerted to install a released version of Windows and your PC will shut down automatically every 2 hours. On August 1st, 2009 if you are still on the Windows 7 Beta your license for the Windows 7 Beta will expire and the non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar.
- For the RC, bi-hourly shutdowns will begin on March 1st, 2010. You will be alerted to install a released version of Windows and your PC will shut down automatically every 2 hours. On June 1st, 2010 if you are still on the Windows 7 RC your license for the Windows 7 RC will expire and the non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar.
Although Windows 7 builds have been really stable so far, they’re still a work in progress so you shouldn’t put your data on the line. Back it up before trying it on any PC, and it’s still not recommended to try the RC on your primary PC.
The RC will be available for download at least through July, which means that depending on demand that time frame could be stretched just like the Beta. You might want to give Windows XP Mode a try as well if you have a Processor which support Virtualization. To install Windows 7 RC from a bootable USB drive, check out this guide by Long Zheng.
Stay tuned to the Windows 7 Blog for any updates and remember to subscribe to ithinkdifferent ( this blog ) for news and tips on Windows 7.