I doubt this is the first place you’re reading about it, but Microsoft released Windows 7 RC1. The release candidate will have a fairly long life as a free OS, running without any limitation until March 1, 2010 at which time it will begin shutting down every two hours. It will completely expire on June 1, 2010. The March 1st date is well beyond most guesses for the official Windows 7 release date.
I’m still running the beta version on my bare metal windows machine and I’m quit happy with it. So I’m in no rush to upgrade to the release candidate. But I did just finish installing it as a new virtual machines under Parallels Desktop. Parallels recognizes it as “Windows 7 (Experimental)”. I simply used the 32-bit iso file I downloaded from Microsoft as-is, without burning a physical DVD. I had no problem letting the add virtual machine wizard make it’s own decisions.When the install was done it had given me a virtual machine with 1GB RAM and 32GB of disk (although only using about 7GB of actual disk). The only thing I did change, once the vm was created, was to turn off coherence mode, set networking to bridged and to turn all OS X/Windows sharing except one directory. Those last items are my personal preference and not required for Windows 7. Windows 7 feels faster in the VM than Vista did, but that could be more perception than reality. I still haven’t installed and apps, except for Avast Anti-virus.
I don’t run much under Windows and all of the data is already set up for syncing so my plan is to get Windows 7 running in the vm then re-install my bare metal Windows 7 PC and sync things back. Despite the fact that there’s work arounds to allow in place upgrades I don’t want to risk upgrading beta software, better off with a fresh install. Eventually I’ll get to it but I can’t say I’m in a rush since the beta is fine for what I use it for,