If all goes according to plan, the Windows 7 Release Candidate build will be released to the public on April 10, 2009.
After rumors sprang up across the blogosphere of a Windows 7 build 7048, we debunked them and along with all the other Windows 7 users, we looked hungrily for information on new builds. Microsoft is currently compiling pre-RC builds of Windows 7, the latest build being 7046. Many beta testers are frustrated that they have not received a build since build 7000, which was released to everyone on January 9, 2009. Unfortunately, Ars has learned that this trend will continue. When I asked Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, if Microsoft Connect testers as well as MSDN and TechNet subscribers will get the RC before the public, Sinofsky told me no: "The build will be available broadly."
When will this occur? Well, sources are continuously pointing to a release of the RC build in April, and now that timeframe has been further narrowed down. According to Neowin, "the official release date is set for April 10, 2009." Whether the Windows development team will be able to meet this date is another story entirely, but development is going quite well I'm told, so as of right now, I'm optimistic that the release date will be met.
Sinofsky has also been talking to Geeksmack, sending them an e-mail yesterday dispelling the buzz that Microsoft wasn't paying attention to what testers were saying: "We have received an amazing amount of feedback, many suggestions for new features too, during the beta—over 500,000 suggestions just from the Send Feedback button (which is only one of many feedback mechanisms). Putting that in perspective it is 500 suggestions for each and every developer on the Windows team, just since beta!" That is a lot of feedback to go through, and it looks like Sinofsky is up to the challenge.
Source: ars technica