After weeks of anticipation, Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is available for download.
Unlike the trick to download Windows 7 beta installer and license, you do not have to download the Release Candidate immediately – it will be available until July 2009. There are also unlimited license keys for the Windows 7 Release Candidate.
Download Windows 7 Release Candidate
Windows 7 RC is available on the Windows 7 page on Microsoft website, but we figured you shouldn’t have to waste your time by logging in to that website and then downloading it – here are the direct, working links (tested by hand) to Windows 7 Release Candidate.
Choose the correct version below – most likely your computer will be capable of 64-bit, if so choose that. Since Microsoft redirects the links to homepage, we will follow a couple of steps to ensure the download – follow along and you will have no problem downloading it.ADVERTISEMENT
- Open the appropriate link below (32 or 64 bit) in a new tab or window in your browser. You will notice that it redirects to the Windows 7 page instead of starting a download.
- Immediately after you are redirected to the Windows 7 page, copy the link (right-click and Copy Link location in Firefox, Copy shortcut in IE) and paste it into the addressbar of the window in which you opened the Windows 7 page. Your download will start immediately.
The above steps work because Microsoft checks referrers to see if the visitor is downloading after following the usual steps to download – by copy-pasting the link again, it seems to be tricked. These direct links have been tested and are guaranteed to work at the time of writing – Microsoft may detect it and redirect you to home page (if that happens, please leave a comment here about it, and any working direct links you may know).
Install Windows 7 RC
If you have not installed a pre-release Windows version before or otherwise require instructions for installing, read the Windows 7 RC installation instructions.
How to upgrade Windows 7 beta to RC
Windows 7 RC installer detects software other than Windows Vista and prevent the upgrade. This is a major disappointment for enthusiasts who are looking to upgrade their Windows 7 beta installs.
However, there is a hack to upgrade Windows 7 beta versions to RC – backup your data and read the instructions carefully before attempting the hack.
Duration of use of Windows 7 RC
WIndows 7 RC can be used without any restrictions until 1 March 2010. After that date, it will enter a restricted usage mode and restart every 2 hours.
It will expire on June 1. That should be plenty of time to use and evaluate the RC – rumours point to a late 2009 or early 2010 release date for Windows 7, so you will likely be able to install a proper copy of Windows 7 before the RC approaches its date of expiry.