Microsoft confirmed on Friday the rumored May release of Windows 7 RC1. The release candidate version of Microsoft’s upcoming OS will be available on April 30th to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, with a broader public availability slated for May 5th. RC1 adds several new features to Windows 7 including remote media streaming, Windows XP mode and some slick new eye candy. Also the remote media streaming, if it works as well as promised, might just give services like Orb a run for their money. Associate your Windows Media player library with your Windows Live ID and you can stream your media across the Internet from any remote PC. Sweet! Before you get too excited, this is Microsoft we’re talking about so both computers must be running the same version of Windows Media player. This cool new feature will not work from Mac or Linux machines, so take note if your personal arsenal of computers includes any.
Windows 7 will also include a new XP Mode meant to assist businesses as they transition from Windows XP to Windows 7. XP Mode will utilize Windows Virtual PC to provide a full-fledged Windows XP virtual environment which, theoretically, will allow users to run all those legacy Windows XP applications without issue. Last but not least, Windows 7 RC1 will see some eye candy in the form of stunning background graphics. Microsoft has been slowly adding new background images throughout the development process and now the public will get its first look at Microsoft’s sense of style. All you folks still running Windows XP with its default green rolling hills background might just be pleasantly surprised.