Download Windows 7 RC: Free For 1 Year

Microsoft has finally released the Windows 7 Release Candidate for use by public. Anyone can download Windows 7 RC and use it for 1 year for free. After making it available to beta testers and MSDN and TechNet subscribers, it now finally available for all.

Microsoft Windows 7 RC: Things to Know

Pre-release software – which means your PC will automatically and anonymously send their engineers data to verify the fixes on the Windows 7 Beta tests. If you are not comfortable testing software, then you can wait for the final release, but that might not be free as Windows is a paid software. However, software release candidates are usually stable and have major security and bug fixes in place.

Expires in 1 year – The RC will expire on June 1, 2010, and Windows will start nagging you with 2-hourly shutdowns starting on March 1, 2010, so you need to install a regular version of Windows before March 1, 2010.

Back up your PC – The RC could have some bugs which would be gradually found and fixed. Till then it could cause errors, PC crashes etc and they recommend never to use the RC on your primary PC, and if you have to, then learn How to back up your PC

Turn on automatic updates – via Windows Update so you can get all bug fixes and security updates for the RC.

5 languages– Windows 7 RC is available in five languages only: English, German, Japanese, French, and Spanish.

No technical support – If you run into trouble installing or running Windows 7 RC, Microsoft provides no support and you are dependant on other RC testers for support

Check System Requirements – Your PC needs 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor, 1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit), 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit), DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.

You might need to find if your computer is running the 32bit or 64bit Windows. When you download the RC, you’ll be given a product key, to activate the RC within 30 days. Read the Release Notes and Things to Know and FAQ before starting to download Windows 7 RC.

Update: You can download Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to test compatibility of your computer configuration and devices with Windows 7

Update: Now the promotion is over and now you need to buy Windows 7.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.