Windows 7 RC now being distributed to MSDN, TechNet subscribers

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The first "real" copies of Build 7100, the Windows 7 Release Candidate -- quite likely, the only one there will be -- were officially distributed to subscribers to Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet subscribers at 11:00 am EDT / 8:00 am PDT Thursday morning. Included in this morning's distribution are the 32- and 64-bit editions of the Ultimate SKU of the operating system, plus the all-new Windows Driver Kit Release 7 for those who'll be building device drivers for the new OS using the revised driver model; the Automated Installation Kit for remote deployments using servers; and the updated Windows 7 SDK RC in x86, x64, and Itanium editions.


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11:15 am EDT April 30, 2009 - Almost immediately upon the RC's public release, the response time for Microsoft's Web services became extremely slow. It's a good sign for the company in one respect: Not all of Microsoft's developers took the bait and downloaded one of last week's leaks.

11:35 am EDT - The slowdown lifted about three minutes ago, and downloads resumed at a respectable pace -- fair enough when something this important and popular is happening.

5:08 pm EDT - Almost immediately after installing Windows 7, you're given some fresh hints and clues -- obviously quite deliberately -- that you're not using Vista (or XP) any more. One is the first notification of the existence of the Action Center, the new upbeat, centralized component for handling and monitoring system security matters. It lets you know it's there for the first time, in a fresh system, by reminding you that there isn't any antivirus software installed.

Another nice feature that hasn't gotten a lot of play, but which suggests folks at Microsoft have finally been listening to users: After installing applications and rebooting, Windows 7 is capable of restoring open applications to the state they were before the reboot. We've seen this behavior so far with Internet Explorer 8 and with other Windows 7 apps open, such as the new version of Paint (with the "Scenic Ribbon"), but we're interested in how deeply this behavior can extend to other apps including non-Microsoft brands.

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