Windows 7: How to get it early

Starting today,MSDN and TechNet subscribers can download a "release-to-manufacturing" copy of Windows 7

Microsoft released the ready-to-ship version of its Windows 7 operating system to software developers and IT professionals on Thursday, raising the question as to when consumers will be able to get their hands on a copy--be it via download, shrink wrap, or preinstalled on a new PC.

Starting today, MSDN and TechNet subscribers can download a "release-to-manufacturing" (RTM) copy of Windows 7 in English, according to Microsoft's The Windows Blog. Versions in other languages will be available October 1st.

Microsoft's Volume License (VL) customers with a Software Assurance license will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting Friday, with editions in other languages coming "in a few weeks." VL customers without an SA license can also grab an RTM copy early, although they'll have to wait until September 1st.

Haven't Heard Your Name Called Yet?

If you're not a developer, IT pro, or volume buyer, how can you get your hands on a copy before the official October 22 launch?

Beta testers who participated in Microsoft's Technical Beta Program--an invitation-only affair--can grab a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate via the Microsoft Connect beta software site.

For rest of us, the remaining options are limited. You could order Windows 7 now, of course, but it won't arrive until sometime near October 22. Or you could stroll the Internet's dark alleyways and download a pirated copy of Windows 7 RTM, but we're not recommending that option. Recent reports indicate that Win 7's final code was leaked to several file-sharing sites in July.

For a free test drive of Windows 7, you might want to download the Release Candidate (RC) from Microsoft. It may not be the final version, but it's pretty close. You better hurry, however, as the RC download is available only until August 20.

As test drives go, the RC is a marathon tour. It expires on June 1, 2010, and will shut down every two hours starting March 1, 2010. That's plenty of time to decide if a Windows 7 upgrade is worth the price.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftWindows 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?