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Windows 7 RC available next week

Reason running in Windows 7.
Reason running in Windows 7.

A release candidate version of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system will be available for public download from May 5.

This follows a period of beta testing, and indicates that the OS is getting closer to a full-on release.

Microsoft has always said that it hopes to release Windows 7 by January 2010, and John Curran, the company's UK director of the Windows Client Group, has indicated to BBC News that it's still on track to do this.

"We feel quite confident we are on trajectory that will deliver on that promise. But the exact timing will be based on quality," he said.

Windows 7 is set to feature a raft of new features and improvements, including better access to multiple windows, Jump Lists that will enable quick access to favourites and support for multi-touch technology.

The Windows 7 RC will be available from the Windows 7 website.