Microsoft Taiwan has reportedly confirmed it “highly possible” a release candidate (RC) version of Windows 7 will be available for download prior to the Computex Taipei 2009 industry event, which will run June 2 through June 6, 2009 in the nation’s capitol. In fact, it’s being reported that OEMs have already been given a copy of the RC version of Windows 7, and that Microsoft may release it to the public as early as Cinco de Mayo, which is May 5, 2009 (14 days from today).
The download will operate as before with the previous beta release of Windows 7. Earlier this month, Microsoft released information on the upgrade process and actually called out to early testers to not upgrade from their current beta, but rather to switch back to Vista first and then perform the upgrade. This unusual request from Microsoft was explained as a form of necessary testing as the company has reportedly greatly improved its Vista upgrade compatibility support. Still, many users have voiced opposition to this request, being unwilling to spend several hours backing everything up, re-installing Vista, and then upgrading to the next-gen Windows 7 operating system just to help Microsoft gain some additional insight.
Microsoft does provide a method to upgrade from Windows 7 beta to Windows 7 RC, though it requires manual intervention which may be beyond the expertise level of some users. In addition, Microsoft spotlights their Windows Easy Transfer utility which makes accounts, settings, files, etc., transfer from the previous install of Windows into the new one via a third-party media form, such as CDR or USB disk.
Microsoft is looking to release Windows 7 sooner rather than later, with the goal being to meet the peak holiday buying season later this year.