Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is out for public through MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. If you’re a MSDN or TechNet subscriber, then you can download it from here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/securedownloads/default.aspx OR https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/securedownloads/default.aspx
For those who are new to these words like Alpha, Beta, RC, RTM –you can find more information at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle
There are few changes from Beta to RC release. Most of these changes improve the performance of OS and W7 engineering team has written a nice blog about it. Read it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/02/26/some-changes-since-beta.aspx
The installation procedure for this release is almost same as of Beta release. There are some rumors about unable to upgrade Beta release to RC release. However, there is a post on this upgrade scenario and you can find it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/04/07/delivering-a-quality-upgrade-experience.aspx
But again, the main question is what about developers? Well, Microsoft has released a software development kit (aka SDK) for it too. You can find it on MSDN link posted above. There will not be ‘big’ changes as in APIs. Most of the code written for Beta should work with RC release. Rather, you’ll find some more managed APIs for Windows 7 in future release of SDK or as a separate package.
As I mentioned in my last post (W7- Seven is a magical number) you’ll need Windows 7 RC machine, Windows 7 RC SDK and Visual Studio 2005/2008 (Express editions will work) to start development for RC release.
In my next post, we’ll talk about developing applications using latest Win7 SDK and we’ll see some code for it.