Microsoft has announced that available of the Release Candidate (RC) of Windows 7, its latest Operating System. The RC is available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers now with a broader public release expected on May 5.
Although the full release of Windows 7 is not expected until late 2009 or early 2010, this release, “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 it,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Windows 7 is compatible with its predecessor, meaning users should not have to invest in new hardware. It also features an ‘XP mode’, which enables users to run XP applications via Windows Virtual PC.
The Redmond company will be hoping to avoid the negative reaction that greeted the release of its previous operating system, Windows Vista. Initial reactions to Windows 7 seem encouraging, with a report by Forrester Research claiming that it showed ‘significant promise’.
“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 RC 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.”