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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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April 24, 2009 8:38 PM

Microsoft releasing release candidate for Windows 7 on April 30

Posted by Sharon Chan

The Windows team at Microsoft reported on its blog this evening that its release candidate for Windows 7 will be available on April 30 for developers and for the public on May 5.

This means the company is one step closer to bringing the next version of its trademark product to market.

Windows 7 is the next upgrade of Microsoft's PC operating system. The release candidate will be the last chance for the company to get feedback and tweak the code before it sends the software to manufacturers to install on PCs for sale. The last version, Windows Vista, came out for general distribution in January 2007.

The public has had a chance to pick over the beta version for the past few months. Parri Munsell, director of consumer product management with Windows (not the guy in the photo below), said his group collected feedback starting three years ago to build Windows 7, and the comments fell into three main buckets:

"First people wanted to simplify. They wanted the PC to get out of their way." The Windows 7 beta removes almost all desktop icons. Applications will live in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen next to the start button.

"Second, making the PC work the way they want." Munsell mentioned reducing lag times to shut down and start down, as well as making sure the more premium versions of Windows 7 built on the features in less-expensive versions. For example, with Windows Vista, people using the business version could not play DVDs, whereas people using the less-expensive consumer version could.

"The final thing is adopting new technology." For example, incorporating the touch interface into all aspects of the software, making home networking easier and making it more consumer friendly to hook in devices.

I will be interviewing Bill Veghte, senior vice president for the Windows business (the guy in the photo to the right), on Monday morning to get more details on what's different in the release candidate. If you have questions you want me to ask him, leave them in comments below or shoot them to me via e-mail at

As soon as we have details on where you can get your hands on the release candiate, we'll post them here at the blog.

(Photo courtesy of Microsoft.)

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