On May 5th, most of you who are interested in trying out the next operating system from Microsoft will hit the servers to get a copy of Windows 7 RC [Release Candidate]. Be patient. There is going to be a huge crowd trying to get the download. Once you get the download and have it installed stop on over at Windows Live Essentials to get the following free toys:

IM and e-mail

Stay in touch. With Messenger, you can chat, swap photos, and see what’s new with friends. Mail brings together your Hotmail, Gmail, and other accounts, along with multiple calendars.

Blogging

With Windows Live Writer, blogging is a breeze. You can add photos and videos, format everything just so, and publish to most blogging services.

Photos and movies

Use Photo Gallery and Movie Maker to edit and organize your photos and movies, and then post them online or send them to friends.

Web browsing

With Toolbar, you can customize your browser and find what you need, fast. Family Safety helps you keep your kids safer online.

Get Windows Live Essential here.

You can select which items you want to install and which ones you do not.

If and when Microsoft releases the public beta of XP Mode, which is the virtual mode for running XP within Windows 7, confirm that your Intel CPU supports the virtualization process which is required. Some do. Some Don’t.

Intel Processor Spec. Finder is here.

Ed Bott also has a great article covering the Intel processors and XP-Mode under Windows 7.

Ed Bott’s article is here.

I found this tool at the AMD site to check your AMD processor to see if it is V ready.

AMD Compatibility Tool Is Here.

If you do decide to try the RC please let us know what you think.

Comments welcome.