nandemoari writes "With only a few weeks until Microsoft's Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is released, Microsoft is already looking for people to help with Windows 8. An April 14th job ad posted by Microsoft says the upcoming version of Windows will have new features like cluster support and support for one way replication. Apparently the Windows 8 kernel is being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. Windows 8 will also include innovative features that, according to Microsoft, will revolutionize file access in branch offices." Relatedly, several users tell us that both 32 and 64-bit versions of the Windows 7 release candidate have been leaked into the wild via p2p networks. The current leaked version shows little change beyond bug fixes, so it would seem what you see is what you get. This all comes as Microsoft posts quarterly sales that have fallen for the first time in the company's 23-year history. Seeing a 6% drop in revenue and a 32% drop in earnings, some within the Redmond giant expect the downward trend to continue.