Abbreviates as RC, a release candidate is a version of a program or software that is functional but not quite ready to be released to the consumer market. Often, glitches and issues with the software are known to the developer, and those issues need to be fixed before the developer releases the product to a sample of consumers for the next phase of development, beta testing. Some developers, such as Microsoft, have a special technical service users group to which they offer a release candidate for trial before a more open public beta test.
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