I’ve got the seasonal flu, so I’ve mostlty relaxing the last couple of days, but you dont have to. Microsoft have finally release Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 to the public – comes with much of tweakin and small feature additions,. If you couldnt get it from MSDN or Technet before, now’s your chance. I’ve been running the RC build on my Dell M1330 since it hit Technet (maybe a tinsy bit earlier) and its been solid as a rock.
Windows 7 RC Reflects New Advancements
New to the Windows 7 RC are advancements such as Remote Media Streaming, Windows XP Mode (beta) and the upcoming beta of the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor:
• Remote Media Streaming. Enables highly secure, remote Internet access to home-based digital media libraries from another Windows 7-based PC outside the home. • Windows XP Mode. Utilizing Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode allows Windows 7 users to run many Windows XP productivity applications, launched right from the Windows 7 desktop. Windows XP Mode will be available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate customers via download or, for the best experience, pre-installed directly on new PCs. As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft is releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC. For larger businesses where management is important to reduce the total cost of ownership, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) within MDOP adds management to Windows Virtual PC including centralized policy, administration experience and deployment. • Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. To help enable a smooth transition, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will help people analyze their PCs in preparation for a Windows 7 upgrade. Available soon, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will be a downloadable tool that will help people determine their ability to upgrade from their Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based PC to Windows 7.
In addition, a number of enhancements were made to existing features based on feedback from beta testers, including the following:
• Refined navigation. Several enhancements to the Windows taskbar, JumpLists and search make navigation and finding exactly what you want much easier. • Internet Explorer 8. InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer 8 prevents browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and usernames and passwords from being retained by the browser. With Windows 7, you can start an InPrivate session straight from the JumpList. You can also open a new tab from the JumpList. • Windows Touch. Controlling the computer by touching a touch-enabled screen or monitor is a core Windows 7 user experience. Improvements in the RC include several Windows Touch updates, including the ability to drag, drop and select items with touch, even inside Web sites that scroll both horizontally and vertically.
System Requirements for Windows 7
With the RC, Microsoft is also providing guidance on the minimum system requirements for Windows 7, showing that Windows 7 will work on a broader array of hardware than any other release of Windows at launch:
• 1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor • 1 GB of RAM (32-bit)/2 GB of RAM (64-bit) • 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit)/20 GB (64-bit) • DirectX 9 graphics device with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher driver
This update brings:
- Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches
- Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology
- Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista
- Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration
- Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.
- Release Notes for Windows Server 2008 SP2
- Release Notes for Windows Vista SP2
- Hot Fixes and Security Updates in Windows Server 2008 SP2/Windows Vista SP2
The Release Candidate was released in early march.
Size: 3,243,413,504 bytes
Size: 3,861,460,992 bytes
For the moment, keep your eyes on the Technet page (currently, the page title is “New Page copied from Windows Vista SP2″). Otherwise you can download them when available:
- MSDN: Windows Server 2008 SP2 / Windows Vista SP2
- TechNet: Windows Server 2008 SP2 / Windows Vista SP2
As for non-subscribers, it should be ‘out in the coming months’.
Asside from the visual tweaking going on, some important system level changes have taken place:
23. Partition size reduction
In Windows Vista, configuring features such as Windows Recovery Environment and Bit Locker required significant customer interaction. Also, a significant amount of drive space was reserved. The Windows 7 System partition enables features to be configured to work “out of the box” so very little customer interaction is needed to configure and utilize them. Based on feedback and telemetry data received through the beta, it became clear that we could cut the drive size in half (from 200M to 100M).
24. Reserved System Partition naming
The system partition is created automatically by Setup when installing on a machine with no existing partitions. During the Beta the existence of this partition on default installs confused many people and feedback indicated that a label telling them that this is space reserved for the system would be helpful when browsing disk configurations, and further help prevent it’s accidental deletion by enthusiasts. We will now label is “System Reserved”.
25. Dual Boot partition drive letter assignment
For a dual boot configuration for the Beta, the other Windows OS wouldn’t get a drive letter and therefore wouldn’t show up in explorer. We heard overwhelmingly from Beta customers that the lack of a drive letter was confusing and even caused some to believe that their secondary OS was lost. Assigning the drive letter makes it visible in explorer and aids in navigation across OS installations.
26. Pagefile reduction
Through extensive use of Beta telemetry data, we have determined we can slim down the Windows disk footprint further by reducing the default page file size to be 100% of the available main memory. It used to be “Memory + 300MB” so on a 1GB RAM system there was an extra third allocated that is no longer required. The pagefile on some occasions will increase in size if required, but we just pre-allocate less.
27. Improved driver support
Based on telemetry data received from the beta, we identified networking drivers that were not available inbox. We worked with ecosystem partners to achieve increased inbox driver coverage across wireless and wired with significant coverage for some of the new ATOM-based laptops
Interesting changes to the pagefile pre-alloc reduction.
The release candidate is going to be bootilicious
Thats right, hot off the press that Windows Vista SP2 RC & Windows Server 2008 SP2 RC is now available for your downloading pleasure.
- Windows Server 2008 x86/x64/IA64 and Windows Vista x86/x64
- Download: 6002.16670.090130-1715_iso_update_sp_wave0-RCSP2.0_DVD.iso
- Size: 1350.3Mb
- Windows Server 2008 / Vista x86
- Download: Windows6.0-KB948465-X86.exe
- Size: 338Mb
- Windows Server 2008 / Vista x64
- Download: Windows6.0-KB948465-X64.exe
- Size: 614.4Mb
- Windows Server 2008 IA64
- Download: Windows6.0-KB948465-IA64.exe
- Size: 441.9Mb
Wow, what a stinking hot day today was, utter chaos on our public transport system (which they are explaining and not making excuses about just incase you got con’nexed into thinking that) so it was nice to spend some time on the beach like the rest of the crowd.
More importantly, news in the virtual werld is that Microsoft have released Internet Explorer 8 RC1 for everyone to test against. Essentially its now feature complete and will behave like RC1 at final RTM. So give that a go, if you were a tester you’ll be glad to know that your pre-RC1 copies will upgrade. You wont be able to install it on Windows 7 though!
This release contains some significant updates to the virtualisation hypervisor in Windows Server (Hyper-V – wiki) and will only be offered as a 64-bit release sporting 256 processors (with 32 processors in VMs).
- Download Enterprise Server x86:
- Download Enterprise Server x64:
- Download Server:
Just over 12hrs ago the download links for Windows 7 Beta 1 went live and I posted not long after about it… But in my rush to get Neo to a friends place for a doggy day (where were my priorities aye?) I forgot to mention how to obtain a proper license key to utilise the betas. So heres the spill.
Sign in via your .NET Passport
Its vital that you sign in via your .NET Passport, otherwise you’ll keep getting redirected to the Microsoft homey page or the Windows Beta 7 site. You can do this by visiting any protected section of Microsoft, say like the Manage Your Profile section.
Once your signed in, your ready to try and obtain your key. Use one of the following URLs (they are purposely not hyperlinks so you are forced to copy/paste):
- Windows 7 Beta 1 – x86
- Windows 7 Beta 1 – x64
If at first you don’t succeed, reload and try again.
Most of the time you try the links you’ll be greeted with this:
But dont fret, its only to warn off n00bs, just keep refreshing your browser and eventually the server will bite.
Some people have gone so far as to using 20 tabs in firefox, cycle-through (just use CTRL+TAB) after they’ve all reloaded and checking, if none bite just right click on a tab and select “Reload All Tabs”. Repeat till key found.
If your _really_ desperate, you can automate the entire process via Firefox + GreaseMonkey by following this forum posting. Nothing like calling on the greasy helper monkeys to work whilst you ponder the mysteries of life.
You can also readup on Installation Instructions for Windows 7 Beta 1 to get up to speed on the setup process and also some information on the Windows Blog about downloading and installing Beta 1.
Just under half hour ago Microsoft released the Windows 7 Beta 1 for public viewing, hurry in and get on the wagon because it can only fit 2.5Million people.
If you do download the Windows 7 Beta and you have a healthy collection of MP3s, make sure you download the patch that was released to fix a serious bug that may cause your MP3s to stop working. This is all documented in Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 961367. Download links for x86 and x64.
UPDATE (8AM Australian EST – 10/01):
“Due to very heavy traffic we’re seeing as a result of interest in the Windows 7 Beta, we are adding some additional infrastructure support to Microsoft.com properties before we post the public Beta today. We want to ensure customers have the best possible experience when downloading the Beta, and will be in touch once the Beta goes live.”
Found an interesting run down of some information about the leaked builds of Windows 7 from WinHEC China by Robert McLaws. Theres also some juicy bits about the much loved boot-screen in the upcoming Windows 7 release.