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Microsoft leaks Windows 7 RC delivery date

It's coming May 5 for partners, before that for MSDN, TechNet subscribers

April 18, 2009 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft Corp. will deliver a release candidate of Windows 7 in little more than two weeks, the company's Web site revealed Saturday.

According to a page posted on Microsoft's partner program site, Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) may be available to paying subscribers to Microsoft's developer and IT services before May 5. Partners will be allowed to download the release candidate on that date, the first Tuesday of the month.

"Partners: If you have a subscription to MSDN or TechNet, you can download Windows 7 RC now," the page read Saturday afternoon. "Otherwise, you can download Windows 7 RC starting May 5, 2009." The link to the download, however, shunted users to the TechNet download page, which did not list Windows 7 RC as one of the available files.

This is the second time in just over three weeks that Microsoft's Web site has leaked information about Windows 7 RC. In late March, Microsoft published a page that said it would launch a public release candidate sometime in May, but it did not specify a date. The company later yanked the page.

The partner program page that appeared today did not mention a rollout date for the general public. Traditionally, Microsoft makes previews available to subscribers of MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) and TechNet several days to several weeks before it offers them to the public. Last January, for instance, MSDN and TechNet subscribers could download the Windows 7 beta on Jan. 7, a Wednesday; the public beta was to hit the company's download site Friday, Jan. 9, but the rush overloaded Microsoft's servers, forcing it to restart the process on Saturday, Jan. 10.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said on April 18 that the "download page briefly posted on the Microsoft Windows Partner Solution site page was part of the regular testing of Microsoft properties" but declined to confirm that May 5 is the Windows 7 RC ship date. "Microsoft is currently in the development stages for Windows 7, and the specific release date of the next Windows 7 product milestone will be determined once the company meets its quality bar for the release," she added in an e-mail.

Windows enthusiast site was the first to report the May 5 leak.

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