Just days after Windows 7 was released to manufacturing and Microsoft started handing out the gold bits of the operating system to original equipment manufacturers, the original ISO images of Build 7600.16385 were leaked in the wild and are now available for download. Too-eager-testers had had the chance to grab the gold release of Windows 7 RTM Build 7600.16385 even before the platform was RTM’d on July 22nd, 2009. Fact is that Microsoft compiled the gold build of Windows 7 as early as July 13th 2009, and only made the official announcement on July 22nd.

The full build string of the gold release of Windows 7 is 7600.16385.090713-1255. The following numbers: 090713 indicate that the code was wrapped up on July 13th, 2009. On July 13th Microsoft both confirmed and denied that Windows 7 had been released to manufacturing. At that time the company noted that it hadn’t signed off the successor of Windows Vista.

At the end of the past week, both the 32-bit and the 64-bit of 7600.16385.090713-1255 were leaked and started being served by various third-party sources, from torrent trackers to warez websites, a move that is obviously illegal. You can take a look at what the RTM development milestone of Windows 7 has to offer via this article. One critical aspect that needs to be underlined is that Windows 7 RTM 7600.16385.090713-1255 can no longer be activated with the Beta or Release Candidate product keys from Microsoft. More »

Debuted last week for customers worldwide, the Windows Upgrade Option Program is designed to deliver customers and small businesses that buy designated PCs with premium versions of Windows Vista pre-installed free upgrades to equivalent flavors of Windows 7 once the operating system becomes available. The initiative is meant to feed consumers’ appetite for Windows 7 that could hurt Windows Vista sales and to make waiting for the next iteration of the Windows client drop pointless.

1. What is the Program Eligibility Period?

June 26, 2009 to January 31, 2010 – Only PCs preinstalled with qualifying Vista editions have to be acquired starting with June 26, but no later than January 31, 2010, in order to be eligible for a free Windows 7 upgrade through the Upgrade Option Program.

2. What are the qualifying Vista SKUs? To which Windows 7 edition will free upgrades be possible?

– Windows Vista Home Premium Upgrade free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade
– Windows Vista Home Premium Full free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade More »

Microsoft is enriching the collection of language packs available for Internet Explorer 8 RTW. At the end of April 2009, the Redmond company promised that it would deliver the IE8 gold language packs aimed specifically at Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 in mid-May. With the release of the two Multilingual User Interface packages for the two operating systems, the software giant managed to live up to its promise. The IE8 MUI packs are designed to play nice with the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3, and Windows Server 2003 SP2.

Vishwac Sena Kannan – IE International program manager, and Jatinder Mann – IE Setup program manager, explained that end users would have to tailor the IE8 MUI pack to the specific language and architecture of their operating systems. In this regard, they will first need to install the IE8 bits in English, and only after deploy the MUI pack matching the OS MUI pack already deployed. More »

Microsoft is delivering a complete package of tools around the Release Candidates of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Downloads such as the WAIK or Windows XP Mode are accompanying Windows 7 RC and Windows Server 2008 R2 RC, but Microsoft has even more. The Redmond company is also offering the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC). The solution is designed to bridge Windows 7 clients with server operating systems including Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2003. Remote Server Administration Tools allow administrators to manage both features and roles on machines running the server operating systems enumerated above from a remote computer with Windows 7.

“It includes support for remote management of computers that are running either the Server Core or full installation options of Windows Server 2008 R2, and for some roles and features, Windows Server 2008. Some roles and features on Windows Server 2003 can be managed remotely by using Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC, although the Server Core installation option is not available with the Windows Server 2003 operating system,” Microsoft informed. More »

Windows 7 Release Candidate Build 7100 is now available for public download straight from Microsoft. In parallel, users can also access Windows Server 2008 R2 RC, which went live concomitantly with the client flavor of Windows 7. Together with the actual bits for Windows 7, Microsoft is also providing product keys designed to activate the operating system. The Redmond company is offering a fixed set of keys that can be used to activate an unlimited number of Windows 7 Release Candidate installations. You will be able to find the complete collection of Windows 7 activation product keys at the bottom of this article.

If you’re up for the task, you can also grab them yourselves. Just visit the official Windows 7 RC download page, scroll down, select to download the Build 7100 bits in a specific language, sign in with your Windows Live ID and get one product key. Repeat the process to grab additional items. Or simply leverage the keys offered bellow, as you can use them to activate both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2 RC is available for download here, along with the product keys. More »