Windows® 7 FAQs
1. Windows 7 - What it is?
It simply comes across as the next best thing in the Windows Client operating system developed by Microsoft. Its USP includes the fact that it has been developed totally based on the feedbacks from customers and users worldwide. Its remarkably reliable and impressive. Starts and shuts down faster than the previous versions of the operating systems developed by Microsoft. It has also been designed to make your battery run longer and is to connect to attachments like printers etc. It has been brought into being keeping the needs and designs of consumers in mind and its features are something that everyone would want a piece of. It is one of the best that Microsoft has produced of late after the bleak streak in Vista, but the Windows is here and here to stay.
2. Windows 7 Release Candidate - What it is?
It is basically a pre-release version of Windows 7, the next client operating system developed by Microsoft. This is a ploy to for engineers to help fix the changes that they have made on Beta tests when the RC is being used. The engineers work on the information sent by the PC. Although the engineers create the Windows, only the consumers have the freedom to perfect it.
3. What are the enhanced features of Windows 7 Release Candidate?
It has been programmed to closely match the Windows Vista Ultimate. It is a full-featured edition. However, the similarity should be kept in mind as it is going to be different from the one a user will eventually buy or use at work.
4. Can anyone download Windows 7 Release Candidate?
Yes. Anyone can download the Windows 7 RC because it is free and will be available for sometime till the mid of 2009. But it will be better to download it only if one is an experienced user with the ability to back up a computer and to install an operating system from nothing. He should also be able to format a hard drive and burn an ISO file to DVD. This is because Microsoft does not offer any technical support for the RC. It will be an added advantage if one also knew how to troubleshoot problems on his computer. .
5. What are the risks in installing the RC?
There are risks installing the RC largely because it is not a finished product. Although it is sturdy, reliable and tested, a computer can crash and one can lose important files. So it is important and imperative to back up all data and restrain from testing the RC on a primary Home or Business PC. The other risks that can be associated with the installation are problems accessing home or corporate networks, hardware like a printer, video card not working and software not installing properly. This might include anti-virus and security programs.
6. What are the expiry dates of the Windows 7 Beta and the Windows 7 RC?
This is one question that is on the lips of everyone. While the expiry date of Beta is already up, it was on August 1, 2009, the Windows 7 RC will expire on June 1, 2010. In order to shield oneself from interruptions, one will have to use a valid version of Windows and rebuild the test machine before the software expires. The expiry will be notified by Windows and after two weeks, the PC will start shutting down by itself every two hours.
7. Is it possible to upgrade directly from Windows 7 Beta to Windows 7 RC?
Provided one has the Windows 7 Beta already running then a back up of data will be needed. After which a clean installation of Windows 7 RC can be implemented. However, remember to reinstall all applications and restore all the files as well.
8. What about a direct upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 RC? Is it possible?
Absolutely. If Vista is already running in your system, installing RC will be possible without the hassle of having to back up and reinstall programs and data. However, it is recommended to back up all data before installation. It is not mandatory but simply to be on the safer side.
9. Is it possible to upgrade directly from Windows XP to Windows 7 RC?
Yes. You will need to back up all the data and do a clean installation. However, after installing the Windows 7, there will be a need to reinstall all application and restore all the files on the computer and restore your files. .
10. What about an upgrade from the RC to the final version of Windows 7?
The same procedure of backing up all the data and reinstalling applications and restoring data comes into play. All in all you need a clean installation when you need to install the final version of Windows 7.
11. What are the languages in which the Windows 7 RC come in?
There are five languages in which the Windows RC comes in. They are English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. These language versions are available in both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions.
12. Why not a Hindi or even an Arabic version of the RC available?
They have been replaced by French and Spanish in RC. But for the Beta build, Hindi and Arabic have been chosen for globalization tests. They have been picked keeping in mind testings for world-wide functionality and also in helping to test a series of language-related features.
13. In what way does testing the Windows 7 RC help improve the operating system?
It helps when you just simply use it. It automatically sends word across to Microsoft on crashes and bugs over the internet. This information is called telemetry. They use the telemetry data to verify changes and fixes that have been worked upon of late. The Windows 7 was updated by using the results through Beta tests.
14. What other information are collected from testers?
The information will be automatically collected if Microsoft needs to contact the user regarding the Windows 7 RC. The information collected comes in handy to analyze issues and file bug reports. This is done through automated reporting feedback from PC's running the Operating system. .
15. What is the "Send Feedback" feature? What is its status now?
This feature is not available on the Windows 7 RC. But the provision to verify all changes and fixes based on the Beta feedbacks and also the test carried out seems to be working just fine. There is a way to collect all automated information and this is called telemetry. This information is sent by the PC over the internet while a user is using the RC. All information regarding crash, bugs, performance issues or even issues regarding applications are passed on by telemetry. This information is very important for Microsoft in order to complete Windows 7. The data is being collected from hundreds of hardware configurations.
16. How is the Beta feedback being used?
The engineers at Microsoft use the feedback to improvise on various applications and features on the Windows 7. The information sent by testers PC through the feedbacks and telemetry from the Beta test process are indispensable to Microsoft.
17. What are the basic requirements to run the Windows 7 RC?
Running a Windows 7 RC system needs the following requirements:-
a. 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
b. 1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
c. 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit)
d. DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
18. What are the web browsers which support the Windows 7 RC download experience?
Following are the web browsers which support Windows 7 download experience:-
a. Internet Explorer 7
b. Internet Explorer 8
19. What should I do if I have a system with the minimum hardware recommendations?
With minimum hardware, one can discharge average computing tasks. These include web browsing and word processing. However, if one has to include playing games or other hardware-intensive programs then one will have to test the RC on a more powerful computer. This can also be made possible on an ordinary computer but the results will vary.
20. What happens when a download is interrupted?
In case an interruption occurs, one will have to click on an icon which is will be on the desktop to restart a download. The download should resume by itself from the moment where it had been interrupted.
21. What is a product key and what are its uses?
It is basically a long sequence of letters and numbers which is used to activate the RC. It also ensures if a copy is authenticated and genuine.
A product key comes with every download. It will be given with a RC as well. The product key is needed to activate the RC. This should be done within 30 days. This key will work on up to three computers, so if the need is felt to install the RC on another PC then the same key can be reused.
22. Is it possible to retrieve the product key if it is lost?
Yes, it can be retrieved online by going back to the download page and downloading the process again. There will be a prompt to enter Windows Live ID. On responding, the product key that was originally issued can be retrieved.
23. From where can one get a product key?
This can be done by the same process stated above on retrieving it. This product key is needed to activate the software. One will not have the need to download the operating system again.
24. Is there an option to get technical support for the Windows 7 RC?
There is an online forum available from Microsoft on its official webpage but apart from that there is no technical support available for Windows 7 RC or for that matter, any pre-release software.
25. Please tell me what a Device Stage is and what are the products that work along with it?
It is a new technology and it works in the following way. Every time a PC is connected to a device which is compatible with Device Stage, one will be able to view the picture of the device . This makes it easy to see what one is trying to do with the device. Now, this enables the user to see if it is sharing files between a PC and the device, or it may be just for checking the battery level.
26. Windows XP Mode - What it is and who can use it?
Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 is a software that gives small-to-medium-sized businesses an option to benefit from Windows 7 and, at the same time, offers them the possibility to still use many older Windows XP productivity programs. It employs virtualization technology, like the Windows Virtual PC, in creating a Virtual Windows XP environment. This enables the user to run older programs in the way of using a Windows XP-based PC.
27. In what ways does the Windows 7 Upgrade Option work?
This option is valid through participating PC manufacturers on selected PCs. The option also lies with Microsoft on qualifying purchases but only of the Windows Vista packaged product. The Windows 7 Upgrade Option has been made applicable to other editions like the Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate editions. This Option program runs from June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010. This will, however, vary from the offers given out by individual manufacturers and retailers and the option might be curbed to a shorter time period. One will have to check out the manufacturer's website to get more details.
28. Windows 7 Upgrade Option program - What it is and what is its purpose?
Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate come pre-installed in various PC's and they can be employed to make an upgrade to a Windows 7 as they qualify for this upgrade. This can also be made available on retail packages of Windows Vista software.
29. What editions of the Windows 7 are equivalent to the ones from Vista?
The Home Premium Version and the Ultimate versions are both the same in Windows Vista and Windows 7, but the Windows Vista Business has been changed to Windows 7 Professional.
30. What are the ways to check if a PC or software program is qualified for an offer?
This option depends on the retailer or the PC manufacturer. They will tell you if the program or PC is included in the scheme. One can also quickly have a look from the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Page available on the official Microsoft website.
31. In case my PC manufacturer is not listed on the Windows Upgrade Option page, what do I do?
Most PC manufacturers are part of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option revolution. However, if your manufacturer is not listed in the options then one should have a personal check with the their manufacturer or retailer. The details will be enlisted on the upgrade offer form.
32. I brought home a Windows Vista Home Premium installed on my new PC in July 2009. Why is that I do not qualify for the Windows 7 Upgrade Option offer?
One will have to correspond with the PC manufacturer to get to the root of this problem. The schemes and offers come at different costs and vary for different models, the time frames and also the markets where it is being launched. It is imperative to get in touch with the PC manufacturer and get the details from them. They will be able to assist the customer to the fullest and give them the complete scenario.
33. Are there any limitations on the number of upgrades one can order? What if I am looking at the option of purchasing a bulk of new PCs?
The Upgrade Option has been made to satiate the needs for consumers and small businesses. It has the option to allow up to 25 upgrade copies per customer. The copies have to be individually installed and activated. This is done on the qualifying PC. To get more details, one will have to get in touch with the PC manufacturer.
34. In what way can I place an order for the Windows 7 upgrade in the event of making a qualifying purchase?
Although some information can be squeezed out from the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Page, one will to resort to getting in touch with the PC manufacturer or retailer to get the precise implementation details as they can vary from the offers provided by the PC manufacturer or retailer. So, it is recommended to have an overview of the offer materials that comes along with the purchase.
35. Windows 7 upgrade - what are the necessary things I need to do?
The necessary compatibility factors lie with the PC manufacturer. Check for redemption details for new PC purchases that usually come along with the PC. If the information is not available then one will have to get in touch with the PC manufacturer and find out if the PC is qualified for the upgrade. More information on the Windows 7 Upgrade option can be made from its webpage in Microsoft's official website.
36. When should an order be placed?
The information on deadlines comes on the coupon or form which comes along with the PC or software program. It can also be on the original sales receipt. If the information cannot be found then one will have to get in touch with the PC manufacturer and see if the purchase is qualified. Normally one will be able to make the upgrade as soon as a PC or software is purchased. One can begin looking for information on the Windows Upgrade Options Page.
37. Will the upgrade come at any extra cost?
The cost of the upgrades will depend on the PC manufacturers again. They will decide on the offers and schemes they have given out for the users. However, for users with the Windows Vista packaged software, there will be a requirement to provide payment information to cover shipping as well as handling fees.
38. Can you please let me know for how long the Windows 7 Upgrade Option is available?
This program and its eligibility period run from June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010. But in the case of new PC purchases, the PC manufacturers have the freedom to choose to offer a shorter program period which is well within this date range. To get the details for the actual dates as well as offer redemption details, one will have to check out with the PC manufacturer. .
39. Supposing I have already placed my order for a Windows 7 Upgrade, when do you think I will receive the product?
The Windows 7 is slated for release on October 22, 2009 and depending on the general availability period, the products will be shipped or made available accordingly. They will vary by the offers given by retailers and manufacturers and also on location. .
40. I have a qualifying Windows Vista Business-based PC. However, I have used downgrade rights to install Windows XP Professional. Have I made the grade for an upgrade?
Well you most certainly do. You are eligible for a Windows Upgrade Option offer. With both your options, you fit the bill. However, note that these upgrades will be provided as was designed for Windows Vista product upgrades. When going for the install, one will have to go for the clean one. This means backing up files, reinstalling and transferring files in order to make the switch to Windows 7.
41. What are my options if I do not have a compatible DVD drive for a media upgrade?
Well, the next best thing to do is to rent, borrow or buy a new one. This will help in a self-installation. Or, you can take it to a service provider that has a DVD drive available and use it for the upgrade. It will cost you and the application charges will vary.
42. What are the options if I made a purchase of a qualifying Vista product in one language version but want to get a different language version for the upgrade?
No. You will not be able to switch the language as the Windows Upgrade Option does not allow this switch. The language version will be the same in the way you have ordered.
43. I have a DVD with me and I would like to install it on Windows 7. However, I am unable to perform the upgrade. What should I do?
These problems are resolved by the PC manufacturer and it does not bind on the service provider. If your upgrade option came with a Vista-based PC then it is only likely that you will have to get in touch with your PC manufacturer to resolve the issue. You will have to enquire and find out if your upgrade meets the basic requirements. These details will be passed on to you by the PC manufacturer.
44. When is the Windows 7 slated for release?
The Windows 7 is scheduled for launch on 22 October, 2009. This release date has been confirmed by Microsoft.
45. What are the editions of the Windows 7 which will be released?
At present, from the reports received from Microsoft, a total of six editions of Windows 7 will be released. However, Microsoft plans to concentrate on two editions for marketing. Anyway, the list of the Windows 7 editions that should be available are as below:-
a. Windows 7 OEM
b. Windows 7 Starter
c. Windows 7 Home Premium
d. Windows 7 Professional
e. Windows 7 Ultimate
f. Windows 7 Enterprise.
But, as mentioned earlier, marketing efforts are focused on the Windows 7 Home Premium Edition and Windows 7 Professional.