Microsoft Releases Windows 7 RC1

Today, Microsoft released Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) 1 (Build 7100) to the public.

Download it here.

This Release Candidate debuts Windows XP emulation mode, which something I’ve been looking forward to. Users can now install legacy Windows XP applications inside a Windows XP virtual machine. I, for one, don’t foresee myself upgrading from Windows XP unless my current business applications work correctly with Windows 7. Likewise, plenty of businesses I’ve talked to plan on using Windows XP until it’s no longer supported (sometime in 2014).

New features in this build include faster installation, more themes, new drivers and an updated build of Internet Explorer 8.

Microsoft claims the release date should be sometime in January 2010. However, many PC manufacturers will be installing it on new PC’s before the holiday rush.

Update (06/03/09):

The official release date is supposedly October 22, 2009.

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