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photobucketMicrosoft has released the long awaited release candidate build of their upcoming Windows 7 operating system according to a post on Windows 7 News. The post refers to a page on the Microsoft Partner Program website containing a download link for the Windows 7 release candidate that is currently only available to selected partners. It is however very likely that it will be activated for all partners soon.

Interested users without a subscription to MSDN or Technet will have to wait until May 5 before they can download the release candidate as this is the date when it will be publicly released by Microsoft. The page containing the download link does not contain any additional information about the release candidate but the race has begun to post the first screenshots and information about the release candidate.

It is very likely that the release candidate will leak to P2P networks (most likely originating from Russia or China as the other leaks came from those countries as well) soon and that many users will start downloading the new build from there.