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Microsoft close to finalising Windows 7 testing

Release candidate of the new OS is expected to be made available in just two weeks

Inching closer to the dream of a useful, effective and efficient operating system, Microsoft is reportedly set to unleash the Windows 7 release candidate (RC) by May 5th.

A release candidate refers to a product in the final stage of testing. It’s considered to be feature-complete with testing focused only on critical errors that could severely hamper its performance.

Windows 7 has got tech enthusiasts around the world excited with various builds of the OS being periodically leaked to torrent sites. The Windows 7 Build 7057, rumoured to be the RC, was available on torrent sites back in March and downloaded by thousands of users.

Now it looks like the candidate is already released to certain subscribers, with availability for other partners not too far off.

"Partners: If you have a subscription to MSDN or TechNet, you can download Windows 7 RC now," a page read on Microsoft’s partner program site. "Otherwise, you can download Windows 7 RC starting May 5, 2009." While the page did not mention a roll-out date for the general public, the pace of development certainly seems promising.

Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president for Windows and head of the Windows 7development team revealed in January that there would be only one release candidate, after which Microsoft would work on a ‘release to manufacturing (RTM)’ version.