Microsoft this week will deliver a number of test software updates to PCs running the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) build to test the upcoming OS's ability to handle various update scenarios. This is the second major test of this Windows 7 capability. The first followed in the wake of the Windows 7 beta, back in February.

"Starting on May 12, we will begin a verification of some update scenarios on \[the\] Windows 7 \[RC\], similar to the update verification we did for \[the\] Windows 7 Beta," a posting to the Microsoft Update team blog reads. "We need to verify the update infrastructure to ensure that when we need to release real updates, the process will run smoothly. There will be at most 10 updates, and as before, they will not deliver any new features or fixes."

People running the Windows 7 RC will need to utilize the Windows Update control panel beginning on Tuesday to see the mock updates, Microsoft says. That is, they won't be delivered automatically to PCs, so users who don't want to participate in the test will be unaffected. Those who do download and install the updates will send telemetry information to Microsoft automatically so that the software giant can analyze the results. Those users who visit Windows Update can also choose to hide the mock updates so that they won't appear again.

Microsoft is on track to deliver the final version of Windows 7 before the end of 2009. Today at TechEd—an IT-oriented trade show opening today in Los Angeles—the company will likely discuss some other changes related to the system or its schedule.