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Windows 7 RC download goes live

The wait is over folks, Microsoft has published the download page for the Windows 7 RC. As we noted earlier, the download was scheduled to launch tomorrow and was to be available worldwide. Coming straight from the download page, here are Microsoft's notes for the release candidate:

  • You don't need to rush to get the RC. The RC will be available at least through July 2009 and we're not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.
  • Watch the calendar. The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you'll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You'll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use. (Learn more about installing Windows.)
  • Protect your PC and data. Be sure to back up your data and please don't test the RC on your primary home or business PC.
  • Tech details/updates: Before installing the RC, please read the Release Notes and Things to Know for important information about the release.
  • Keep up with the news. You can keep up with general technical information and news by following the team blog. And, you can get non-technical news, tips, and offers by subscribing to the monthly Exploring Windows newsletter.
  • Keep your PC updated: Be sure to turn on automatic updates in Windows Update in case we publish updates for the RC.
  • Installation: You can install the Windows 7 RC on a PC running Windows Vista without backing up the PC—but we encourage you to make a backup for safe keeping. If you're running Windows XP or the Windows 7 Beta, you'll need to backup your data, then do a clean installation of the RC, then reinstall your applications and restore your data. If you need to do a backup, please see How to back up your PC for more details and a suggestion for how to backup a PC running Windows 7 Beta or Windows Vista.

So without further a-do folks, click here to go to Microsoft's download center and download the Windows 7 RC. Microsoft has also launched the Technet download which you can find here. On a side note, it appears as if you will be issued a new product key for the RC. It is most likely going to give you the extended time for using the RC if you have downloaded from another source. Installation instructions can be found here.

If you're wondering what has changed from the beta release to the RC, click here to read our guide. Is your system up-to-par for Windows 7? Microsoft has confirmed new system requirements for Windows 7, click here for more information.

Kudos to Jbenisek for letting us know.

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