Windows 7 Release Candidate Available: No XP Mode for Netbooks But Look for New Mouse Gesture Features

The general public won’t be able to download Windows 7 Release Candidate until May 5. However, if you have a MSDN/Technet subscription or participate in the Microsoft Connect Windows 7 beta testing, you can download it starting today. But, be prepared for a long wait. I started downloading the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the RC as well as both the Windows 7 Server Web and Enterprise Editions over two hours ago. Microsoft File Transfer Manager’s estimated completion time is still swinging wildly between 10 and 26 hours for me. It had been swinging between 6 and 16 hour estimates earlier on. I should note that I have a decent broadband connection.

Windows 7 Release Candidate Is Available From Microsoft (press release)

If you have a netbook, here are a couple of items of interest…

– Microsoft demoed some pretty interesting new mouse gesture features at the Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Summit that I attended last month in Seattle/Redmond. More on this after I confirm that the RC includes these features.

– Unless you have a Dell mini with the Atom Z530 processor and 2GB RAM, you will NOT be able to test the Windows XP Mode virtualization feature.

– Windows 7 RC does NOT allow upgrading from either Windows XP or Windows 7 Beta. So, if your notebook is currently running either of those OSes (I’m running 7 Beta), backup your netbook now while you are waiting for the RC download to complete (like me). You will have to perform a clean install of Windows 7 RC.

My guess is that I won’t have Windows 7 RC installed on my Asus Eee PC 1000HA until late Friday evening or sometime during the weekend. So, I probably won’t have much in the way of details until next week. But, you can be sure that I’ll have plenty to say (good or bad) about 7 RC on my netbook starting next week Monday. Stay tuned!