Friday, May 1, 2009

Windows 7 RC available now on MSDN and TechNet

Microsoft is announcing the availability of Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) via MSDN and TechNet.

From the Microsoft press release:

“Windows 7 RC Reflects New Advancements

New to the Windows 7 RC are advancements such as Remote Media Streaming, Windows XP Mode (beta) and the upcoming beta of the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor:

• Remote Media Streaming. Enables highly secure, remote Internet access to home-based digital media libraries from another Windows 7-based PC outside the home.

• Windows XP Mode. Utilizing Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode allows Windows 7 users to run many Windows XP productivity applications, launched right from the Windows 7 desktop. Windows XP Mode will be available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate customers via download or, for the best experience, pre-installed directly on new PCs. As part of today’s announcement, Microsoft is releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC. For larger businesses where management is important to reduce the total cost of ownership, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) within MDOP adds management to Windows Virtual PC including centralized policy, administration experience and deployment.

• Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. To help enable a smooth transition, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will help people analyze their PCs in preparation for a Windows 7 upgrade. Available soon, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will be a downloadable tool that will help people determine their ability to upgrade from their Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based PC to Windows 7.

In addition, a number of enhancements were made to existing features based on feedback from beta testers, including the following:

• Refined navigation. Several enhancements to the Windows taskbar, JumpLists and search make navigation and finding exactly what you want much easier.

• Internet Explorer 8. InPrivate browsing in Internet Explorer 8 prevents browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and usernames and passwords from being retained by the browser. With Windows 7, you can start an InPrivate session straight from the JumpList. You can also open a new tab from the JumpList.

• Windows Touch. Controlling the computer by touching a touch-enabled screen or monitor is a core Windows 7 user experience. Improvements in the RC include several Windows Touch updates, including the ability to drag, drop and select items with touch, even inside Web sites that scroll both horizontally and vertically.”

In terms of the Windows Touch and multi-touch, you’ll need to update your Windows 7 multi-touch drivers from your manufacturer’s website. For the Dell XT (and Dell XT2) you’ll need the latest N-Trig driver. For the HP TouchSmart you’ll need the latest NextWindow driver available here. I don’t see updated drivers for either at this time, but I’ll keep checking. In the meantime I’m going to install Windows 7 RC on the HP Mini 1033.