Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

Download Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) – Available Now

As you are probably aware, today we made the Release Candidate of Windows 7 available for download. As a Microsoft Partner or managed Beta Program participant, you may have already received information on how to access the Windows 7 RC download already today, but I wanted to publish this here for any who may have missed it or who are still looking.

For those of you with MSDN or TechNet subscriptions, you can access the Windows 7 RC download starting today by clicking the button below.


Remember, one of the Software licenses benefits for Certified and Gold Certified Partners is access to MSDN.

If you do not have an MSDN or TechNet subscription and you were not part of the managed Beta Program, then you will be able to download the Windows 7 RC code on Tuesday, May 5th by clicking the button above at that time.

Since this is a question we often receive around RC release time, I thought I would just include it here to address it up front:

When will the final version of Windows 7 be available?
The final engineering milestone is the release to manufacturing (RTM), typically 3-5 months after the RC. We believe the product is high quality and to date have received very positive feedback. This might result in RTM delivery before the 3-5 months timeframe. Ultimately, you’ll decide the quality and assess the delivery once you download and use the RC. Customer and partner feedback will determine how quickly we release.

Also, on the recommended path to Windows 7, here is some guidance for you:

What is the recommended path to migrate to Windows 7 RC?

The recommended path to migrate to Windows 7 RC depends on what operating system you are currently running:

Current OS

Recommended Path to Windows 7 RC

Windows XP

If your hardware meets the minimum recommendations for Windows 7, we recommend you do a clean install of Windows 7 RC when available. The recommended minimum hardware for Windows 7 Beta can be found at (Hardware recommendations will be roughly the same for RC.)

Windows Vista

We recommend you upgrade to Windows 7 RC.

Windows 7 Beta

We strongly recommend you do a clean install of Windows 7 RC when available. You do not need to first reinstall Windows Vista and then upgrade to Windows 7 RC.

In all of these scenarios, the Windows Easy Transfer tool can be used to make it easier to restore files and settings after a clean install.

For those of you that have been following the Blog lately, please remember the Windows 7 Resources For You post I put up here earlier with a bunch of Windows 7 Resources available for you to use as well as the Windows 7 Virtual Partner Readiness Day coming up on May 7th.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman – Follow me on image image
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights