Windows 7 release candidate will be available to a select few later this week.
Subscribers to Microsoft Download Network and Technet will be able to download the release candidate of Microsoft's latest operating system on Thursday, Windows 7 manager Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog posting.
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Everyone else will have to wait another week. "Broader, public availability will begin on 5 May," LeBlanc said.
He thanked all those involved in the beta testing process and said the Windows 7 team has been busy analysing the feedback, fixing bugs and working hard to improve the overall experience.
Many of the suggestions from the beta testers have helped Windows 7 developers to "refine the taskbar, the behaviour of Aero Peek, Touch, Windows Player and much more," LeBlanc said.
Windows 7, which is due to ship in January next year, has a few more features than Vista, but is not widely expected to appeal much more to big businesses than it predecessor.
The ability to connect to Windows Sever 2008 without a VPN could be helpful to businesses, but that is unlikely to be a compelling reason to upgrade.
Picture from Rex Features.