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Microsoft gives the world another sampling of Windows 7

Company makes release candidate of its latest operating system available for download

It’s almost here now – the Windows 7 release candidate (RC) has just been released to the public, a week after it was made available to Microsoft’s TechNet and MSDN programs.

The Windows 7 RC is available for download from its official webpage and includes both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions in different language options. Once registered, you’ll be provided a product key for the evaluation period which will expire in June 2010.

"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," a note on the download webpage states, referring indirectly to earlier incidents when increased traffic resulted in the site slowing down with many unable to reach the download pages.

Users need to keep in mind that the RC only reflects features of the Ultimate version of the new operating system, which would differ from the Starter, Home Premium and Professional editions.