Microsoft’s next version of desktop operating system Windows 7 release candidate (Windows 7 RC1) is available as a free download.
Now’s your chance to try out pre-release software. Microsoft is not limiting the number of product keys, The RC is free and will be available at least through July 2009, according to Microsoft.
You can install the Windows 7 RC on a PC running Windows Vista without backing up the PC. Microsoft isn’t providing technical support for the the RC, so be sure to back up your data and please don’t test the RC on your primary home or business PC.
Windows 7 RC is stable and has been thoroughly tested, it’s not the finished product. Microsoft strongly recommends that only experienced computer users who should be comfortable backing up a computer, formatting a hard drive, burning an ISO file to DVD, and installing an operating system from scratch should try the software. You should also be comfortable troubleshooting problems on your own.