I am very interested in Beta Testing. The valuable lesson that I learned from Office 2007 Beta was that in no circumstances should you ever Beta Test anything on a computer that you are not ready to reformat before installing the final application. Due to the availability of Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) and the fact that it will be free for at least a year, I will definitely be testing it.
You can follow the Windows Springboard Series on Twitter (MSspringboard) and this is a link to the Featured Windows 7 Resources on Microsoft TechNet. Just keep in mind that you are forewarned that the Windows 7 RC will expire June 1, 2010 and the bi-hourly shutdowns will begin on March 1, 2010.
These are two interesting articles that relate to Windows 7 RC.
Windows 7 setup secrets
Ed Bott, May 1st, 2009
On May 5, the general public will finally be allowed to download the official Windows 7 Release Candidate. It’s been up on BitTorrent networks for more than a week, and developers with MSDN or TechNet subscriptions have had access to it since early this morning. But those groups constitute a tiny fraction of the people who will be seeing the Windows 7 release candidate for the first time next week.
For the benefit of the early adopters and those who patiently wait, I’ve been gathering information on the right and wrong ways to set up Windows 7. For the past week or so I’ve been installing and upgrading the RC code on a wide variety of systems—notebooks and desktops, with and without touch and tablet capabilities, with and without TV tuners and Blu-ray drives, as clean installs and upgrades, in x86 and x64 flavors, documenting the process.
In this post, I want to share seven of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, including a few setup secrets that even some Windows experts don’t know about.
Secret #1: Choose the right Setup option
Secret #2: Start with a clean disk
Secret #3: Back up your old drivers first
Secret #4: Do a nondestructive clean install
Secret #5: You need less disk space than you think
Secret #6: Unblock the upgrade path for Windows 7 beta
Secret #7: Unlock those extra editions
Microsoft to give away free Windows 7 Release Candidate for a year
Son Huynh, April 30th 2009
On May 5th, general users will have access to an entire year of Microsoft's brand new operating system, Windows 7 RC, for free! It is already available to download for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. This version is only the Release Candidate and will expire June 1, 2010. The Release Candidate is merely the near finished product and is basically the final stage in testing. It's supposed to have all the features of the final version. We don't know when the final version will be released but rumors say it'll be either late 2009 or early 2010.
A beta version of Windows 7 was released some time ago, and from using it for a short time, I can gather that it was much faster and more friendly than Windows Vista. Indeed for those of you who hated Vista, Windows 7 is Vista done right. Windows 7 boasts a lot of new features including a new taskbar, libraries, jump lists, etc. Windows 7 will also come packaged with the newest Internet Explorer (IE8).
The biggest improvement with Windows 7 is the performance. It will no longer take 5-10 minutes to boot up your machine. Windows 7 now has a much faster startup time, beating out both Vista and XP. We will also see a new feature called Windows XP mode which lets you run native XP programs on your machine.
People are saying good things about this Windows. Microsoft hopes it will make up for all the bad things about its previous version. I've heard news about IT developers leap-frogging Vista and going straight to 7 in their companies.