In the week since Microsoft unleashed the release candidate of its Windows 7 operating system, we've had a chance to cut through the buzz to poke, prod, speculate, and evaluate from all angles.
We've walked through Windows 7 RC's more impressive attractions in a photo tour, like the more powerful Taskbar and streaming music to yourself from another PC. We've also created a video to point out changes to device management, search-term highlighting, and the virtual XP mode for running older programs. And for a deeper look at the pluses and minuses, we've drawn up a full, hands-on review. If that weren't enough, we've also reflected on Windows 7's performance after living with it for a few days.
If you do want to try the operating system upgrade for yourself, remember that the download will be available at least through July 2009. While fairly stable, Windows 7 RC is still a work in progress, and as such, could be prone to bugs. It shouldn't be used to replace your operating system yet, but we can offer tips for dual-booting Windows 7 alongside another operating system on the same computer. Or, you can read up on the changes in these stories and pictures and anticipate Windows 7's full release, which Microsoft has finally confirmed will be out in 2009, hopefully in time for the winter holiday season.