While up at Cisco’s Toolapalooza, we had a number of people ask us about Windows 7, from how stable is it to how can I get access to the beta to when will it be available.
I can’t attest for all the people using Windows 7, but on one of my test systems, it’s running very well and appears to play well with all the applications and devices I’ve thrown at it. I’ve seen the Windows 7 be very responsive to customer inquiries and issues. But to be honest, gone are the days when I get excited about a new operating system.
There are have been a number of blogs stating that the Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) is available for TechNet and MSDN users but that’s only a rumor. Just because it’s on the web, doesn’t make it true.
Like most betas OSes, be careful about the system you test one. What I mean is, make sure you make copy of all your data while you’re using Win7. (Actually, that’s just a good practice in general, but even more so when it comes to testing beta OSes).
I’ve seen too many people install beta OSes on their primary machine, and then when the next beta or RC or RTM come out, they have to reformat their entire system to “upgrade.” Officially, Win7 (like all other beta Windows OSes before it) is like this. They are no plans to include an upgrade from Beta to RC to RTM. So as stable as Win7 is and you get use to using it, don’t go too crazy personalizing it and installing everything you ever want to use on it because when the next Beta or RC comes out, you’re going to have to rebuild the machine.
I was checking around and on the “Engineering Windows 7” blog, one of the engineers on the team posted a blog article on how you might be able to install future Win7 Betas/RCs without out having to rebuild the box entitled Delivering a quality upgrade experience.
Since we haven’t shipped a RC image yet, it’s difficult to speculate when the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) will happen. One way to get an idea when new images will be dropped is by checking the EULA (End-User Licensing Agreement). In all our Beta and CTP (Community Technology Preview) releases, we publish the expiration date of that particular image, usually stating something like “this product will expire on <insert Month, Day, Year> or when the product is officially released.” So you can guess that if we put in a hard expiration date, that could be perceived as the next expected milestone the product team is shooting for to make the product available in its next form.
So, until the next public Win7 build, enjoy testing.