Yesterday Microsoft posted the first release candidate for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 which is available for anyone to download who has Genuine Windows on their system.
They also released a collection of documents about the Release Candidate that contains this information:
- Hotfixes and Security Updates included in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate
- Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate Notable Changes
- Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate Test Guidance
For additional information (including how to deploy the service pack and how to join the public beta), please see http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/ff183870.aspx.
Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 represents Microsoft’s continuing commitment to quality. While many of the updates contained in SP1 are available as individual downloads, the integration of these updates in SP1 enhances the ease of deployment for IT administrators. This functionality, coupled with advanced new virtualization features such as Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX, demonstrates how SP1 will provide the ongoing improvements that customers and organizations alike have grown to expect from Microsoft.
A Release Candidate means just that. This software is a candidate for release and unless testers find show stopping issues with this then it will move up to the next step on the release timeline and be prepared for release to the public.