Microsoft will begin its public roll-out of Windows 7's final code Thursday when it posts the official release to manufacturing (RTM) build of the OS on its for-pay developer and IT professional sites.

Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager at Microsoft, blogged about the availability of Windows XP Mode Release Candidate and called it the last mile compatibility technology when Windows XP productivity application is not compatible with Windows 7. Installing anti-virus program in Windows XP Mode is recommended to secure the environment.

The new features included in the Windows XP Mode RC are:
- Windows XP Mode apps can attach with USB devices directly from Windows 7 taskbar.
- Drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7 can be disabled when not needed.
- Initial setup now includes user tutorials for using Windows XP Mode better
- Location of Windows XP Mode differencing disk files stored can now be customized
- Most recently used files in Windows XP Mode applications can be accessed with a jump-list from Windows 7.

However, only the English-language editions of Windows 7 will hit the download sections of the two services tomorrow. Other language-specific versions of the new operating system will be available on TechNet and MSDN Oct. 1.

The general public, however, will have to wait until Oct. 22, Windows 7's launch day, to put eyes legally on the final version.