Those of you who run Windows on your Mac are probably aware that a beta version of Windows 7 — the operating system touted by Microsoft as its successor to Windows Vista and XP — was released for public testing several months ago.
Windows 7 beta expires on August 1. Earlier this month, Microsoft posted a notice on its web site about the availability of the 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) that includes new features and extends the expiration date to June 10, 2010.
Major software developers like Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft pack their software releases with a multitude of features that now require DVDs to be used as installation discs. The Windows 7 installer is no exception. The 64-bit download file that I chose consumes a little more than 3.0 gb of disc space.
I originally thought I could download Windows 7 RC as an overnight process using Firefox on my Mac. I was proven wrong when I checked my computer the morning after and noticed that the download had quit at around the 130 mb mark. When I re-initiated the download process, I read Microsoft’s web page that stated that an ActiveX control has to be installed. Since ActiveX is a Windows-only component and I didn’t want to tie up my Mac by running either Parallels or VMware Fusion, I opted to perform the download using CrossOver for Mac.
If you want to install Windows 7 under BootCamp, you’ll need to burn the installer onto a DVD. If you use either Parallels or VMware Fusion to run Windows, you have the option to install Windows 7 RC from a DVD or from the .iso disk image (which is much faster).