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Microsoft has just released the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Release Candidate on the 26th of October, 2010. That is a mouthful of words, which if you didn’t get it – refers to the Release Candidate version of Windows 7 SP1, and also Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Which means that the real thing (ie the SP1) will probably be out early next year. So if you’re into operating systems and have the time to try out leading edge technology before the rest of the people, head over to to get your copy.

For the Release Candidate, the only languages available are English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.


Windows 7 SP 1 RC Minimum System Requirements:

-OS: Windows 7 RTM (Final) -IMPORTANT!
-CPU: >1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
-RAM: >1 GB (32-bit) / >2 GB (64-bit)
-HDD: 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit)
-GPU: DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
-Optical Drive: DVD-compatible drive

How To Download
You can either sign in with your Windows Live ID or just download anonymously. You will still need to verify that your Windows is genuine, of course!
1. Review the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 system requirements, and the FAQ at the download page above. Probably the only interesting thing from the FAQ is this question:
“Q. Will I be able to uninstall the service pack RC?
Yes, you will be able to uninstall the service pack RC if you need to.” 🙂
2. Click the “GET STARTED NOW” button to start the download. Notice that there are 2 similiar looking buttons. The top most one requires you to login and register. The other one doesn’t. Guess which one most will prefer to go for. 😉
Note that the difference, as stated on the page, if you bothered to read it, is: “By registering for the Service Pack 1 RC, you will receive updates on new builds and RC expiration dates. You are encouraged to register, but if you wish, you can opt out of registration and proceed directly to the download. If you choose to opt-out of registration, you will not be contacted further.”
Damn, nice trick here. Decisions, decisions …



3. Assuming that you clicked the lower option, you will come to the 2nd screenshot above. Click continue to validate your Windows. Launch the validation tool, copy-and-paste the results into the box in Step 2 (of that page) to validate.

4. Follow the instructions to download the files.

A Final Word
Be warned that the only new features added to the SP1 are the Windows Server 2008 R2 virtualization technologies, Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX. The rest has already been delivered to you if you have kept your Windows up-to-date with Windows Update. That’s because Windows SP1 is, er, more of a marketing plan to get the big corporations to upgrade to Windows 7, as their usual stance is upgrade to a new version of Windows only upon the release of SP1.

So is it gonna be one big yawn? Well, this is where you come in. You go ahead and download and leave some comments so we all can share your joy, or pain (if any). 😉