Microsoft's latest Windows version, Windows 7, has already proven to be too popular for the Internet's own good. Back in January, Microsoft planned to offer the Windows 7 beta to only 2.5 million lucky downloaders over a two-week period, but that didn't last long. As servers crashed under the weight of digital "gold rush" fever, Redmond extended the date to February 10th while lifting the download cap.
This time, with early demand for Windows 7 RC from TechNet and MSDN members crashing servers at the end of April, Microsoft is telling the public to relax :
You don't need to rush to get the RC. The RC will be available at least through July 2009 and we're not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.
You can get an additional product key here .
Another tip: back up your data before installing the RC - and don't test the RC on a primary home or business PC.
And, I'd add, don't expect a bulletproof restore if you used the Windows 7 Beta's Backup and Restore Center to create a file backup. I had problems with restoring my files with the Restore function, but was able to retrieve my files by extracting them from the .ZIP files created by Backup and Restore Center. I had hundreds of backup files, and found that the open-source 7-Zip File Manager is a great way to extract multiple files. I extracted the files to a folder on my desktop, used 7-Zip's auto-renamer feature to deal with duplicate files, and dragged the folders containing my files to the appropriate locations in my user folders.
How has your experience with Windows 7 RC been so far? Hit Comment to share your war stories, tales of woe, tips, and tricks.