Microsoft expected to deliver Windows 7 public RC in May

Update: RC-escrow builds are not the same as RC builds released to public and thus updated the article's title and content to reflect the same.

Neowin earlier reported that Windows 7 RC is expected on April 10, 2009, but it looks like Microsoft has updated its schedule. Russian website Wzor has given some interesting tidbits about the revised 2010 TAP schedule of Microsoft. Wzor gives us the following dates related to Windows 7, Office 14 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

Windows 7

  • The most recent build compiled is build 7061 on March 11, 2009
  • Internal RC-escrow builds of Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 will be delivered to select testers on the fourth week of April 2009
  • Release candidate for Windows 7 & for Windows Server 2008 R2 will be released to the public during the last week of May 2009

An Escrow Build is a build where development halts and developers & beta testers start testing the product for any show-stopper bugs. Microsoft always emphasizes this to testers to concentrate only on the regressions and confirmation of fixes when asking for feedback on escrow builds.

Office 14

  • First beta of Office 14 will be released in early July and will not be available for public testing
  • Second beta version of Office 14 will be released in early November
  • Final RTM release of Office 14 is scheduled in early March 2010

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • The RTM release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 is planned for early October 2009

While these dates are expected to change, it is nice to see Windows 7 progress and I am up for anything that makes Windows 7 a stable OS.

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53 Comments

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This isn't surprising at all, and they could be on track to RTM before fall.

Why is that? If people are comparing this release to XP, XP RC1 was released on July 2, 2001. RC2 was released on July 24th. RTM was August 24, 2001 followed by its public launch in NYC two months later.

The release schedule of this OS seems to draw a parallel to XP.

If anything, I think Microsoft would want to release Windows 7 BEFORE people buy new computers for school simply because it reduces a LOT of potential hassle one gets from upgrading an operating system.

That would be the absolute last month for RTM, being exactly 3 years since Vista launched. If the RCs are this early, they can't afford to miss the Christmas shopping season.

I saw this delay coming, there moving to fast. I would prefer a stable bug free end environment rather than a rushed product.

thealexweb said,
I saw this delay coming, there moving to fast. I would prefer a stable bug free end environment rather than a rushed product.


until we get random build leaked every week or two, they can take as much time as they want

Since this article has changed slightly, it makes a lot more sense - didnt they do the whole escrow-RC build thing, followed by proper RC, for IE8?

pasty2k2 said,
Since this article has changed slightly, it makes a lot more sense - didnt they do the whole escrow-RC build thing, followed by proper RC, for IE8?


and vista sp2? just so too?

"Release candidate 2 for Windows 7 & for Windows Server 2008 R2 will be released to the public during the last week of May 2009"

Someone didn't read the article at all

burnblue said,
"Release candidate 2 for Windows 7 & for Windows Server 2008 R2 will be released to the public during the last week of May 2009"

Someone didn't read the article at all


its just maybe u didnt understand: rc escrow build=!rc1

I hope so too, but I dont care when this is released to be honest. The current build 7057 is good enough for me to run on my main machines (I have all my important data on a Windows Home Server setup so no worries for me!).

I would rather MS take their time with this, which it seems they have done, to get it right. Whether its released in the summer or next summer, doesn't bother me.

If MS releases Windows 7 next year and misses the Holiday season, it might not be very good for them. Granted, I think not rushing to get the RTM build is a good thing.

DSLJay said,
If MS releases Windows 7 next year and misses the Holiday season, it might not be very good for them. Granted, I think not rushing to get the RTM build is a good thing.

Miss the holiday season? This thing will go RTM this summer!

archer75 said,
Miss the holiday season? This thing will go RTM this summer!


-Internal RC-escrow builds of Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 will be delivered to select testers on the fourth week of April 2009
-Release candidate for Windows 7 & for Windows Server 2008 R2 will be released to the public during the last week of May 2009

hmm, reading comprehensions


anyway; i LOVE these xp win7 fanboys cuz even a fart can't get even more than retarded

and we'r talking about a fart in the wind...

The point of a release candidate is that it has been determined to be stable enough for possible rtm after all the smaller bugs get fixed. If microsoft floats several builds around the office, more than one build may have the same level of stability, the next logical step would be to release both to the masses, rc1 and rc2. They would only need to call rc1 a beta2 if the following rc is from the same build tree.

That was before the head windows chap changed - W7 development is being commanded by the same guy that did Office over the past couple of years. I think its working wonders so far, but time will tell.

You all must be youngens no offense but I've beta tested microsofts OSes in the past and I don't remember what OS started the change but MS used to have rc1 and rc2 then rtm. This was the old formula I know windows 2000 had rc1 and rc2 and so did win 98 can't remember if xp did or not. I for one am glad they went back to the earlier approach as this always allowed for more bugs to be squished.

Now considering that my name is "Caveman" will someone the heck tell me what the heck is going on here with TWO RC versions of windows 7 ??
And what is an "escrow" version of software ?

Caveman-ugh said,
Thanks for that Chaks ..... Now I know.

No worries :)

Updated the article too with info about escrow build

While I would love to get the testing over with and have the final rtm installed on my machine, I would also rather that they get rid of as many bugs as possible. They definitely shouldn't rush it like they did with Vista. This was totally unexpected, but good move Microsoft. Quality is more important than pushing the product out the door rapidly.

Actually somethings just come to mind. How can they call the first Release Candidate just that when they know already they'll be a second? I mean you wouldn't say something like "I think this is almost good enough to release" if you know full well that is not and more work and testing needs to be done.

lee26 said,
Actually somethings just come to mind. How can they call the first Release Candidate just that when they know already they'll be a second? I mean you wouldn't say something like "I think this is almost good enough to release" if you know full well that is not and more work and testing needs to be done.

You do know microsoft doesn't always announce their plans publicly right? 6 months can go by before they announce something

They followed the same with Vista SP2 - released and RC-escrow build initially to testers and released a public RC later, except that they didn't call it as two RC versions. That might happen for Windows 7 too.

Yes I know that but you wouldn't get someone to taste test a cake you think is good enough to sell if you know the ingredients aren't right. Obviously this is on a different scale to that but the same principle applies.

Chaks said,
They followed the same with Vista SP2 - released and RC-escrow build initially to testers and released a public RC later, except that they didn't call it as two RC versions. That might happen for Windows 7 too.

I can see that happening... it would make sense. Like lee26 says, how can they know they will need to release two, normal, RCs? If they were planning on a second RC, they would relabel the first as a beta 2 surely.

Exactly pasty2k2. If they are to be called RC1 and RC2 then quite frankly that's just wrong and as you said RC1 should be Beta2 and RC2 should be RC1.

@lee26, Microsoft can take that path or they could completely ignore that and call it RC1 and RC2. We will sure let you know if there is any change

lee26 said,
Yes I know that but you wouldn't get someone to taste test a cake you think is good enough to sell if you know the ingredients aren't right. Obviously this is on a different scale to that but the same principle applies.

I think the reason they aren't calling it a 'beta 2' is because they will think it is ready for release, but they just want to have feedback from the people they trust the most first and from their most valued testers for a month first.

The public release candidate could still be the first one if they don't find any bugs they want to fix/user interface issues to tweak, but I doubt that will happen

Both are actual release candidates, but the first is private and the second is public. The beta is just a test, with full knowledge that features may be tweaked, while the RC1 is assumed to be ready to go. Even so, having the developers test that assumption before letting the public test that assumption only makes sense.

The cake is a terrible example, because if you could taste test the cake without ruining it or subtracting from it you would. The RC can be 'taste-tested' without damage.

I'm not sure I understand the complaint here.. The escrow build is an early version of the first and only announced RC. There aren't two announced RC's here.

The escrow build is just the first RC build in unfinished form, as while "escrow" means no further feature changes will be done, it can still mean bug fixes will be made.

Do you know what candidate means?

If I was making a cake for a function and I made a candidate it would by definition mean I wasn't 100% sure about it and may likely change things.

If the possibility for introducing multiple candidates didn't exist then they wouldn't even call it a candidate, they would just release it.

Wow this is unexpected. But the next public release (RC) durning the week of my birthday. Ehh that is good enough for me for a present.

Wow. Totally unexpected but at least it's not being rushed. I'm sure some of those internal RC1 builds will be leaked though.