Windows 7 RC Now Available for MSDN, TechNet

As Microsoft promised over the weekend, Windows 7 Release Candidate is now officially available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

Microsoft said in its press release that the RC milestone indicates the operating system is entering the final phases of development and is ready for partners to develop new applications, device drivers and services, and ready for IT pros to evaluate Windows 7 and examine how it will operate in their environment.

In other words, it’s almost ready for prime time.

“Listening to our partners and customers has been fundamental to the development of Windows 7,” said Bill Veghte, senior vice president for the Windows business at Microsoft. “We heard them and worked hard to deliver the highest quality Release Candidate in the history of Windows. We have more partner support than we’ve ever had for an RC and are pleased to say that the Windows 7 RC has hit the quality and compatibility bar for enterprises to start putting it through its paces and testing in earnest.”

The system requirements for the Release Candidate are the same as they were for the pubic beta released early this year.

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (32-bit)/2 GB of RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit)/20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher driver

Early birds who jumped in the RC download when it went live on the Microsoft site at 6 a.m. this morning found decent download speeds, but recent reports from those who are trying to download it are saying that servers are currently overloaded. No surprises there. Click here for the TechNet download page.

For those of you who don’t have TechNet or MSDN accounts (and would prefer to grab the ‘official’ disc image from Microsoft), the Windows 7 RC will be hitting the public on May 5.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • cyber_smity
    Been getting "unable to service request" all morning from MSDN :(
  • fonzy
    Where do I download it at I can't find it at MSDN.
  • fatedtodie
    fonzy, go to google or and type in "MSDN Library"
    if you still can't find it, I suggest returning your computer to the store you bought it from.
  • silversurfernhs
    just torrent the distro and use your own key, perfectly legi, perfectly legal
  • mikeynavy1976
    What I want to know is...with RC being long before retail version goes out to market. I'm going to need a laptop for grad school next Fall and would like 7 pre-loaded on it.
  • Can't users who already own a Win7 beta,just simply use the update function?

    I've noted that the beta version of Win 7 works fine with 768MB of ram; but too slow with 512MB of ram.
    It does work with 512MB of ram, if you disable lots of services, aero, programs, etc..
    As far as technet I can't seem to download the RC.

    However all hail mininova which seems to host RC1.
  • TPB hosted one an hour ago, what seems like an nlited version (or a bad version).
  • bustapr
    Damn that subs isn't cheap!!!1
    Either that or I didn't understand the subs page(codes???)
    MSDN operating systems cost $699!!!!!!!????????
  • edhalsim
    So if I install RC1 over Vista and then the final release comes out later, will I have to uninstall/reinstall, or just install the final release?

  • jsloan
    edhalsimSo if I install RC1 over Vista and then the final release comes out later, will I have to uninstall/reinstall, or just install the final release?
    you'll want to do a full install. you can try an upgrade, but i always find that a full install is not as bad and is a good way to start from a clean slate...