We are pleased to announce that the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate (RC) is available for immediate download to our TechNet and MSDN subscribers. If you’re not a TechNet Plus subscriber, please click here to learn about the benefits of becoming one.
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 RC will be made available to the general public on May 5, 2009. You will then be able to download Windows 7 RC here, through the Springboard Series on TechNet. Windows 7 Ultimate is the Release Candidate edition; it will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions in English, French, Japanese, German, and Spanish.
Windows 7 RC offers many improvements over the beta release, including:
- DirectAccess User Experience — Corporate Connectivity Notification has been removed to simplify the user experience; only Internet Access is displayed.
- User Account Control (UAC) — In the beta release, a user could change the notification level in the UAC control panel without receiving a prompt for administrative credentials. The UAC control panel now runs in a high integrity process; changing the level of the UAC will prompt for confirmation. When a user is logged on with a standard user account, that user must provide administrative credentials to change the default UAC notification level.
- AppLocker — The AppLocker UI includes a new Group Policy administrative template, which can be configured by an administrator to display a customized URL when AppLocker blocks an application from starting. The message can be used to reduce help desk calls by directing users to a helpdesk intranet site.
- System Partition Size — The Windows 7/WS08 2008 R2 partition drive size (required for Bit Locker and Windows Recovery Environment) has been reduced from 200MB to 100MB.
- Network Troubleshooting — Support for diagnostics is greatly enhanced, including a new Windows Troubleshooting Pack for DirectAccess within Control Panel. If a resource is not reachable (for example, a Web site fails to load), use 'Diagnose Connection' in Internet Explorer or 'Troubleshoot problems' diagnostic entry points to help determine the cause of the issue.
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