Windows

Time is running out to get the Windows 7 Release Candidate

It has been a real boon for support pros that Microsoft has given us a chance to try out the next version of Windows before it is released to market. Now that a firm launch date has been announced, your days to participate are numbered.

It has been a real boon for support pros that Microsoft has given us a chance to try out the next version of Windows before it is released to the market. Now that a firm launch date has been announced, your days to participate are numbered.

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As a support pro, I'd like to offer kudos to Microsoft on their decision to publicly release a free evaluation version of Windows 7. I hope that what we've seen during this development process will become the standard for future OS releases from the company. A public Release Candidate isn't just a good marketing tactic, it's a great way to make sure that techs are familiar with your product from day one of its official release. I know that my experience with the Release Candidate of Windows 7 will make me more confident when I am asked to support it for customers.

If you haven't had the chance to download the free Windows 7 installation package, you shouldn't miss the opportunity. Microsoft has announced that the disk image of the Release Candidate will be available only until August 20. Product keys for new installations will still be distributed after that date, so there is still plenty of time to put Windows 7 through its paces before it hits store shelves on October 22. Make sure you're not left behind and go get the software already!

Whether you are only just getting started with the RC or you have been running it since the beginning, there are a few things you should bear in mind:

The Release Candidate is time-limited.

On March 10, 2010, any computer with the RC installed will begin shutting down every two hours. On June 1, that computer will not start up at all. So, have a migration plan in mind for your evaluation machine as the expiration date approaches.

Windows 7 is still beta software.

Don't rely on it for critical tasks. Consider using a dedicated PC for your tests, and if that is not possible you should install Windows 7 to a separate partition or a virtual machine.

Plan on performing a clean install after the evaluation.

Hopefully you didn't install the Release Candidate on a production machine, because upgrading the software is not recommended. Back up any data you need to keep from your test system, block out the time, and go ahead with erasing your disk before installing whatever OS you are going to use going forward.

It's not always the case that we can get a leg up on support issues by testing products before they are in customers' hands. I highly recommend that if you have not started your hands-on education, you should download the Windows 7 Release Candidate while you still can.

11 comments
kraterz
kraterz

From a corporate standpoint, we see no need to "upgrade" to Win7, having experienced the trial by fire which was the vista upgrade, the driver problems, the software incompatibilities, cost of hardware upgrades, and user training. It cost us a lot, and we hardly upgraded 15% of our machines. We're skipping Win7 till it's at least at SP-1 or SP-2 and there's a widespread consensus on its stability, security, software and device support.

tonycopp
tonycopp

Understood ..it's free. I have a free machine. Please give me one reason besides developing competence in promulgating and/or supporting a this new religion why I should bother with it. As I see it M$ is the only winner, and hardware makers get to sell machines to people who are OK where they are now, at least (99.44%). The tech support get some make-work and UNIX admins as well. M$ should be happy improving XP Pro so it doesn't crash and get $10/yr from the installed base for the patch privilege and hang up their derivative spurs. Vista 2.0 is the Hasta La Vista. "We don't need your drugs here, Louie" The paradigm has changed since last Century..Bluto in Animal House didn't become Senator , but Baggage Handler #1 in Trading Places sure did. We don't need to worship PCs no more than the telephone.

bucca36
bucca36

You're in Sales and marketing. Yiou need to learn how to communicate. This ramble makes no sense whatsoever.

tonycopp
tonycopp

Hundreds of millions of people don't need to be forced off their use of Windows XP by threats of non-support. Vast numbers of people don't want to buy a device that keeps changing its controls, and rather wished the whole deal was as robust as the telephone and be as uninterested in the phone system computer's latest patch. My point is that M$'s business model involves throwing too many old and poor folks off the train, and I don't like it. Windows 7 should go find a life, or at least one killer app or future new hardware also unknown that Windows 7 will be absolutely necessary to support.

williamjones
williamjones

I think that Vista made a lot of business users averse to immediate operating system upgrades, but I'm curious what you're seeing among your clients. Will you be asked to support Windows 7 as soon as it's launched this fall, or will your clients want to hold off?

TBBrick
TBBrick

Are we testing Win 7, sure, but so long as we can order Win XP on new PCs, that's what we stay with. Previous poster says he doesn't load any new M$ product until SP1. So reckless, I wait until SP2 at least ;-).

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

To move off XP till at least SP1 for 7 is released and even them it may be put back further. Remember the Old Saying about new M$ OS's? Never move to one for Mission Critical use till after the First Service Pack is released? Hardly any changes from normal if you ask me. ;) Col

mikeabcde
mikeabcde

Yes woould be great but the real world of i.t as far as deployment and the nature of business is that the majority dont migrate to the next O.s untill 2 or 3 years after its realease. In part so they can recoupe from the initial outlay from the last migration and partly because of Service pack related issues. Another factor of course is if there isnt any real boost for business. Look at vista O.K released with office 2007... but who really had to have it to function?.. a few very large corperations possibly, who then no doubt suffer from the current economic issues and the costs of rolling out again so soon..hmmm I'm just glad to still have a job, I skipped Vista all together.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

It's exactly the opposite here as several of the places that I do work for actually had Office 2007 and because the submit Tenders Electronically to Government Departments who require this in DOC form they dumped the Office 2007 in favor of Office 2003. Better to use an older product that they are sure will be looked at rather than have a tender dumped in the rubbish because some bureaucrat can not open it. One of the first small tenders submitted in 2007 was for a 200 Million job and they freaked when they where told that the Receiver couldn't open the tender. A few months latter the Government started placing the DOC Format requirement on all tenders announced/advertised so the new version of office was dumped because it's Native Format was not DOC. It's a very expensive mistake to send in something in the native format and forget to convert it tot he required format. Then the fact that not everything formatted correctly when it native format was changed didn't help all that much either. As for as waiting a couple of years to change as this is related to their Life Expectancy and Budget which specifies a 5 year turn around for most hardware it's hardly surprising that they don't want to change straight away. I have several clients with Software Advantage from M$ and they don't consider installing anything new when it first arrives. They test before deploying and then it is generally at least 12 -18 months before any deployment of something that doesn't require new hardware. Even when Vista hit the streets one client had a 12 month old Canon Photocopier which they used as a network Printer which didn't have Vista Drivers available so after M$ told them to buy a new printer they decided that the Computers cost a few K each all 5 of them as apposed to the 45 K they where still paying off and made a Executive Decision to forget Vista as it was way too expensive for them. They did replace all of their hardware within 8 months of Vista being released but insisted on having everything supplied with XP. This was after a M$ Representative paid them a visit to show them just how great Vista was. Since that time I do not dare deliver anything to them with a Vista Ready or Vista Compatible as on the one occasion that I did I got thrown out along with a new NB and told never to bring anything relating to Vista there ever again. Not sure exactly what happened but I did warn M$ that it wasn't a particularly cleaver idea trying to push Vista onto this crowd. :D Col

salim
salim

Commercial clients of mine really do not believe in change.... when it comes to computer because thet say they have to pay more for repair....... When it comes to main street, they do not care for old or new as long as they get cheap.... Probably we will start supporting the windows 7, which is not bad I guess..

salim
salim

Commercial cleints of mine really do not believe in change.... when it comes to computer because thet say they have to pay more for repair....... When it comes to main street, they do not care for old or new as long as they get cheap.... Probably we will start supporting the windows 7, which is not bad I guess..

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