Microsoft announced publicly today that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have reached their RTM stage today. The official build number for Windows 7 is 6000.16385. So, what does this mean?
If you’re a tech beta tester (Microsoft’s internal beta testers), it means the end of an era of sorts. We’re no longer hunting for bugs, although we can still use the Release Candidate until Windows 7 is available. And I’m sure we can still submit them. We also will lose our communication with the other testers shortly. And, we’ll patiently (and anxiously) await our next calling—be it service packs, or a new version of Windows.
For the public beta testers, nothing really has changed. They can still use the Release Candidate until the “General Availability”. They didn’t have the community that the tech beta testers have. And while they could submit bugs and feedback, it wasn’t quite on the same level as the tech beta testers. But, that’s the nature of the game.
For the General Public, this means that those brand new PC’s and laptops that you bought with the upgrade offer will finally get that upgrade. And, if you purchased Windows 7 through their “50% off” deals earlier this month, you’ll be getting them in 3 months.
If you’re wondering about whether it’s better or worse than Vista, let me show you the systems that I tested it on…
AMD Athalon 64 3000+
1.5G DDR2 RAM
ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro
ATI TV Wonder 650 Pro
Toshiba Satellite A105-S2194 (Walmart Special)
Intel Celeron M
1.5G DDR RAM
Note the laptop. It’s 2 years old at least. All I’ve added was 1G of RAM, and a new hard drive. It has Windows XP Media Center 2005, Windows 7 RC1 Ultimate, and Kubuntu installed in a triple boot. And Windows 7 runs better on there, then it does on the desktop. It even has all of the “Aero” features that Vista has.
So, if you’re looking to upgrade either from Windows XP, Windows VIsta, or maybe even Windows 2000/ME (Windows 98 would really be pushing the envelope, and I wouldn’t recommend it).
If you have a computer with a 64-bit processor and the Hyper-V or AMD-V enabled, you can take advantage of “XP Mode” which will allow you to run a virtual machine containing Windows XP (licensed) inside of Windows 7. There is a version available for 32-bit also, but I’m not entirely positive of the hardware requirements.
You can preorder copies of Windows 7 up until October 22, or purchase it after it becomes available. Also, if you want a copy now, you can still download the RC (which is pretty close to the RTM version) before August 30. Note that the key that you’re assigned will expire on June 30, 2010. However, around March 1, 2010 the computer will start rebooting every 2 hours or so. So, the RC is only a temporary fix until you can (and should) buy the released version.
Have a great day:)