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Windows 7 RC - now you see it, now you don't

Microsoft prematurely posted a download page for its Windows 7 Release Candidate before it was ready for prime time, according to the Redmond giant. The page has since been pulled.

A download page for Microsoft's Windows 7 Release Candidate was prematurely posted by the company and has since been removed, according to a statement issued Thursday by the software giant.

Windows 7, Microsoft's next version of its operating system, is in the process of undergoing its final draft, or release candidate (RC). And although the software giant has been silent on when it expected to roll out its RC and industry reports have previously speculated April, the posting of the premature RC page gave a May 2009 timeframe, according to a report in Ars Technica, which has screen shots of the landing page.

Microsoft, in a statement, said:

The Windows 7 Release Candidate download page posted on TechNet as part of the regular testing of Microsoft properties and was removed as the Windows 7 RC is not available at this time.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft did not have readily available details on how long the Windows 7 RC page was posted and when it was taken down, nor whether the May 2009 date listed on the download page is still valid.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has a notice posted on its site, notifying users Windows 7 betas downloads are no longer available on its site.

In a screen shot of the Windows 7 RC page captured by ARS Technica, it noted the minimum PC requirements called for:

1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor or higher.

1 GB of system memory or more.

16 GB of available disk space.

Support for DirectX 9 Graphics with 128 MB memory.

DVD-R/W drive

Microsoft, however, noted the specifications could change and that advanced or additional hardware may be needed to watch and record live TV, or navigate through a "touch" screen.