updated 11:45 am EDT, Thu April 30, 2009
Windows 7 RC for Devs
Microsoft this morning made the Windows 7 Release Candidate available to those who subscribe to MSDN or TechNet, providing the first widely available glimpse at the next-generation OS since the public beta from February. The new version includes a handful of new features added since the beta, such as the previously revealed XP emulation mode for Business and Ultimate editions as well as an upgrade advisor tool and the ability to stream music and video to other Windows 7 PCs outside of the local network.
Several adjustments have also been made to existing features that range from better integration of Internet Explorer 8 with the OS to taskbar changes and the ability to drag-and-drop as well as select items when using a touchscreen.
The build requires at least a 1GHz processor and at least a DirectX 9-capable graphics chipset; the 32-bit release needs 1GB of memory and 16GB of disk space, while the 64-bit software demands 2GB of RAM and 20GB of disk space. Microsoft still plans to make the Release Candidate available to the public for free on May 5th.
Windows 7 is unofficially expected to ship in late summer or early fall.