The stability, reliability and performance of Windows 7 Beta Build 7000, and the subsequent leaked Windows 7 Build 7022, have leaded many to believe that the release roadmap and schedule of Windows 7 operating system will be bring forward, rather than later. Microsoft has confirmed that there won’t be any beta 2 for Windows 7, and will directly release Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC or RC1).

There are intense speculation on when one and the only Windows 7 RC 1 will be released, and there are various ‘guesses’ on the release date. The most likely release date for Windows 7 RC1 which will be offered to general public will be in April 2009, but the first RC build for Windows 7 may be available as early as February 27, 2009 to private testers, according to various news sources.

Microsoft is said to be closing the beta milestone branch of Windows 7 development, which typically has the winmain in the build tag. The following Windows 7 builds will be of RC branch, with win7rc1 in the build tag, with the build 7048 been one of the known build of the win7rc1 milestone branch. The full build version of Windows 7 Build 7048 is 7048.winmain_win7rc1.090211-1625, which implied that the build was compiled on February 11th 2009 at 4:25 PM. reported that Windows 7 Build 7048 may be the RC1 build that will be released, although it’s likely to be released to selected few testers and/or Microsoft employees only. Beside, it’s rumored that MSDN and TechNet subscribers, Technology Adopters Program (TAP) participants, Connect testers and other private testers would receive the RC build around February 27th, 2009, although the specific date to release the Windows 7 RC to general public is still unclear.

Update: The news about Windows 7 build 7048.winmain_win7rc1.090211-1625 may turn out to be a link bait by the source, as ArsTechica reported that build 7048 hasn’t existed. The latest build is build 7046 which was compiled on February 16th, 2009, as the one compiled on February 11th was probably 7041.winmain.090211-xxxx, which still belongs on beta branch.

Update: Microsoft has actually assembled Windows 7 Build 7048 on February 19, 2009.