After being kept in the dark for a long time regarding the RC Microsoft today announced that it will be available for TechNet and MSDN customers on April 30th and publicly available on May 5th.
- What I really don’t get is this; TechNet and MSDN subscribers are loyal paying customers, paying for the ability to test applications and OS versions, and they (read: we) will get our hands on legal copies of Windows 7 RC on April 30th – in 5 days – whereas the RC is already available through TPB and Mininova bittorrents? Why just not release it to TechNet and MSDN already? Why wait? To encourage illegal downloads?
Microsoft also revealed new functionality that will come to select Windows 7 versions; XP mode. So what is this? Scott Woodgate explains it like this on the Windows blog:
Windows XP Mode is specifically designed to help small businesses move to Windows 7. Windows XP Mode provides you with the flexibility to run many older productivity applications on a Windows 7 based PC.
All you need to do is to install suitable applications directly in Windows XP Mode which is a virtual Windows XP environment running under Windows Virtual PC. The applications will be published to the Windows 7 desktop and then you can run them directly from Windows 7.
Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC are best experienced on your new Windows 7 PC. We will be soon releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate.
XP Mode consists of the Virtual PC-based virtual environment and a fully licensed copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). It will be made available, for free, to users of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions via a download from the Microsoft web site. (That is, it will not be included in the box with Windows 7, but is considered an out-of-band update, like Windows Live Essentials.) XPM works much like today’s Virtual PC products, but with one important exception: As with the enterprise-based MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization) product, XPM does not require you to run the virtual environment as a separate Windows desktop. Instead, as you install applications inside the virtual XP environment, they are published to the host (Windows 7) OS as well. (With shortcuts placed in the Start Menu.) That way, users can run Windows XP-based applications (like IE 6) alongside Windows 7 applications under a single desktop.
Paul has also posted several screenshots of the RC on his SuperSite for Windows.
So what will I do? Wait for the legal bits, or once again head over to Mininova? This time I will wait for the official download. I will do a clean install and I want to make sure that there are no “extras” included in the OS I am installing. It annoys me that I have to wait 5 more days, but – ok.
What are your thoughts about Microsoft letting us wait after the bits have been leaked ?