"Because enthusiasm continues to be so high for the Windows 7 Beta and we don’t want anyone to miss out we will keep the Beta downloads open through February 10th. Customers who have started but not completed the download process will be able to do so through February 12th," said Windows Communications Manager Brandon LeBlanc in a post to the Windows 7 blog.
Microsoft originally planned to limit the number of downloads and licenses to 2.5 million copies. Due to an overwhelming initial response the company's servers were overloaded resulting in Microsoft lifting the original limit and offering an unlimited amount of downloads through today, Jan. 24.
Despite the fact they "are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs" Microsoft decided late Friday to extend their deadline two and a half more weeks.
The shutdown of general availability for the Windows 7 Beta will occur in 3 phases over the course of the next few weeks:
- Starting January 27th, the Windows 7 page will be updated with a warning that time is running out on downloading the Windows 7 Beta and that we will be limiting downloads shortly. People will be encouraged to register and start the download of the Windows 7 Beta sooner rather than later.
- February 10th, new downloads of the Windows 7 Beta will no longer be available. People who have already started their Windows 7 Beta download and have not yet finished will still be able to finish their download and are encouraged to do so.
- February 12th, people will no longer be able to complete their download of the Windows 7 Beta. Anyone who hasn’t finished downloading the Windows 7 Beta will be unable to do so.
Product keys for the Windows 7 Beta will continue to be available. So if you have the Windows 7 Beta but didn’t get a product key you will be able to do so even after February 12th.If you have yet to download the beta you can head over to the Official Windows 7 page for download details and instructions on installation.