Windows 7 Release Candidate
Windows Vista, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 98
1GB RAM (32-bit) / 2GB RAM (64-bit), 16GB disk space (32-bit) / 20GB (64-bit), DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0
Publisher's description of Windows 7
Windows 7 is the updated version of the Vista operating system from Microsoft. It was built around feedback from users and has been developed to work with touch screen controls, among other features.
However, because Microsoft isn't providing technical support for the Beta, we strongly recommend that only experienced computer users sign up. How experienced? At minimum, you should be comfortable backing up a computer, formatting a hard drive, burning an ISO file to DVD, and installing an operating system from scratch. You should also be comfortable troubleshooting problems on your own. If you've not used beta software before, please read the warning messages and make sure you know what you're getting into.
Windows 7 provides an improved taskbar and full-screen previews. Jump Lists put the documents you want handy and the ones you've used recently a couple clicks away. Desktop enhancements simplify how you work with the windows on your desktop. You'll have more intuitive ways to open, close, resize, and arrange them. Introduced with Windows Vista, Windows Search helps you find virtually anything on your PC quickly and easily. Windows 7 also makes search results more relevant and easier to understand. Available now, Internet Explorer 8 helps you do what you want online, faster. With Windows 7, you'll use a single Devices and Printers screen to connect, manage, and use whatever printers, phones, and other devices you have on-hand.
CNET Editor's Note:
The 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 RC are available in five languages: English, German, Japanese, French, and Spanish. The Download Now link will take you to Microsoft's download page where you can choose the version that fits the system you'll be using, pick your language, then register for Windows 7 Release Candidate and receive a product test key.