Microsoft confirms Windows 7 RC coming next week

Microsoft has now confirmed the date for the Release Candidate of the Windows 7 operating system.

In The Windows Blog, Brandon LeBlanc said: ‘There certainly has been a lot of discussion about Windows 7 in the last few weeks. A lot of folks want to know when they can get their hands on the official RC, when we are going to RTM, and what I had for breakfast. I’m pleased to share that the RC is on track for April 30th for download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Broader, public availability will begin on May 5th.’

The Release Candidate (RC) is an important milestone insofar as it signifies an almost-complete operating system. The next step, release to manufacturing (RTM), will be the last before you see the final product.

The RC1 will be made available for members of Microsoft’s Developer Network and Technet on April 30. Wider availablity is expected on May 5. The development comes soon after th RCI was leaked on cerain torrent sites. This caused widespread excitement and along with it frustration, amongst members who were confused as to why Microsoft did not make an official announcement. In Microsoft developer parlance, an RC is the final stage of testing — mostly looking for “fit and finish” types of problems — before commercial release of a software product. However, if a so-called “showstopper” bug, one that is bad enough to halt the process, is found, developers patch it and issue a second RC, or more if necessary.

The software titan has been close-lipped about timing for Windows 7, which it is pushing hard as the “replacement” for the disappointing Windows Vista, partly to build buzz around its pending arrival, Nine days after word leaked out about the RC’s pending release, Microsoft made it official.

“A lot of folks want to know when they can get their hands on the official RC, when we are going to RTM,” Brandon LeBlanc, a blogger on Microsoft’s Windows Blog, wrote in a post. “I’m pleased to share that the RC is on track for April 30th for download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Broader, public availability will begin on May 5th.”

According to published reports, Microsoft had initially thought seriously of not having a full public beta, but relented after users objected.

Assuming users and developers don’t find any serious problems with the RC build, Windows 7 could be out as early as late summer, according to some analysts. Others, however, suggest that rather than confuse consumers by having only some Windows 7 PCs on sale by the back-to-school season, Microsoft may wait until the holiday sales season.

Additionally, testing the RC apparently began slightly late, however. Originally, RC testing was slated to begin around April 14. While May 5 is three weeks past that date, though, April 30 testing by tech subscribers would make that only a little more than a week late.

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