Let's take a look at the newly leaked Windows 7 Release Candidate (build 7100).
Check out the Windows 7 Release Candidate (build 7100) gallery
So, what's different in this build? well, if you've been keeping up with all the leaked builds then there's little new to see. In fact, when I compare it to say build 7057 there are virtually no visual changes to be seen (although I don't remember this hideously scary and very disturbing wallpaper in build 7057 ...). At this late stage of development all the changes have been under the hood.
However, if you're still using the Beta 1 build that was released back in January, there's a lot of see in this new build. I'm going to leave coverage of what's different to others, other than to look at one area - performance.
The performance of the Windows 7 builds post the Beta 1 (build 7000) has improved dramatically. The improvements had plateaued out when it came to the last few leaked builds, but if you're still using build 7000, this RC build should feel overall faster and more responsive. Don't get unrealistic and expect your hair to be blow back, because it won't be. However, you should notice that even simple things are snappier, whether it's opening the Start menu, firing up an application, exploring the contents of your drive or navigating the Control Panel.
I'll have more to say about performance in a later post.