Seattle: Microsoft Corp has released a near-final version of the Windows 7 operating system that adds a few new features, including a way to run Windows XP applications.
The Windows 7 "release candidate" was made available to a large group of technology-savvy testers on April 30 and will be ready for anyone to download and try out starting May 5.
The release candidate is typically the version used by Microsoft's corporate customers to test how the new system will work for them. Software developers, hardware makers and other partners also base their next-generation products on this version because they trust that it's stable and close to finished.
Image: With the launch of Windows 7, the software giant hopes to escape from the criticism heaped on its predecessor Vista.
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