Microsoft Windows 7 Release Candidate
The software giant Microsoft Corp said on Friday a version of its long awaited Windows 7 operating system will be made available for the program developer and IT professionals subscribing to the MSDN and TechNet networks from April 30 and more broadly on May 5.
The version, known as a 'release candidate', or RC, essentially means the world's largest software company is in the final stages of completing the operating system, the successor to the unpopular Windows Vista.
The company has still not said when the finished version would begin to be installed on PCs or available to buy in shops, but the company's chief financial officer said on Thursday it could be as early as July.
That would allow Microsoft to capitalize on back-to-school sales and set it up for a strong holiday shopping season. Vista, launched to the public in 2007, was incompatible with some low-power machines and perceived by many to be too complicated. Rival Apple Inc ridiculed Microsoft's problems with the system in a series of popular TV ads.
Windows 7, which has been getting good reviews in limited public tests over the last few months, is much cleaner looking and features an array of new touch-screen functions. Microsoft says it will also interact better with digital cameras and music players.