Microsoft released Windows 7 RC1 yesterday, so I’m going to have to try to find time to dig out and set up a PC that I can try it on. My previous look at the beta was quite promising, so I’d like a look at the release candidate.
RC1 is available until at least July and apparently it will work until June 2010 (although I haven’t seen any info on whether you can actually upgrade from RC1 to final – you may still have to reformat).
For those of you who haven’t been keeping track of what is going on, Windows 7 is the successor to Windows Vista (which was technically Windows 6 – I think Windows 95 was Windows 4, 98 was 4.1, 2000 was 5 and XP was 5.1).
Many software developers adopt a system of alpha and beta testing. Alpha is internal testing when things are still at a fairly early stage. Beta testing is done by external customers, and many developers have public beta programs now. Microsoft have also added an extra stage to this called “Release Candidates”, which many people would probably say are actually just beta versions, but I think it is Microsoft’s way of saying “we’re nearly there now”.
The fact that Windows 7 has reached RC1 is definitely a major milestone and it will certainly be interesting to see how it pans out now that it is at this point.