Microsoft released Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) build 7100 today. The RC reflects extensive beta tester feedback which the MVP Community directly impacted.
Managed Beta program participants, including MSDN and TechNet subscriberscan download it from Microsoft Connect. If you are not among those who participated in one of the managed Beta programs, you only have to wait until Tuesday, May 5, when the RC will be available through the Customer Preview Program. The final engineering milestone is the release to manufacturing (RTM), typically 3-5 months after the RC.
As a member of the Windows7 Technology Adoption Program (TAP), I've had the chance to work with Windows7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 from the earliest builds and have traveled to Redmond to participate in the Windows7 Summits. As time goes on, I'll be posting my usual tips, tricks and troubleshooting articles on this blog.
Windows 7 beta facts:
- Over 2000 MVPs participated in the beta on Connect.
- MVPs contributed and filed over 700 bugs in the first week the beta was released.
- Engineering fixed over 2000 bugs during the first two weeks.
- The Windows 7 Forum was the premier destination support beta testers with over 25k posts in the first month
- Windows 7 Beta forums success continues to be moderated by 100+ MVPs.
- Windows 7 Beta forums answer rate soars to 88% on a volume of more than 40,000 posts.
- Highlights of positive feedback from beta testers: Windows 7 beta speed / responsiveness, taskbar, and UX are top rated early features
I can tell you that I've been running Windows 7 on my Asus 1000HE netbook and it's absolutely awesome! It ran right out of the box with 1GB of RAM and even displays the Windows Aero interface. I would venture to say that anything that can run Windows XP will run Windows 7 - and it will run even better! Microsoft has a real winner with this operating system. I can't wait to see the RTM version.
The recommended minimum hardware for Windows 7 Beta can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-faq.aspx.
As for Windows 2008 R2, I run it on several host servers, VMs and even a dual-boot Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 laptop computer. The build quality is outstanding and I love all the new features including mobile broadband support, Agile VPN, and the improvements to Server Manager. Be sure to check out the Best Practices Analyzers in Server Manager.