Thursday, January 08, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Officially Released

windows 7 logo**Update Microsoft has delayed the public release of the Windows 7 beta click here for more details **

Microsoft officially launched the beta of Windows 7 at CES on Wednesday. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the beta is "feature complete" and ready for public testing so the company "will make the beta available worldwide" on Friday. Of course many readers out there might already be running the leaked version of the beta that hit torrents late last month, this is just marks the official release.

IT professionals and developers who subscribe to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) or TechNet services were able to download and install the official release of the beta yesterday. The rest of us will have to wait until 12pm PST tomorrow.

According to Microsoft you'll need at least a 1-GHz processor, 1GB of memory, 16GB of available hard disk space and graphics card with 128MB of memory and support for DX9 graphics to adequately run the beta.

Where do I get it?
Microsoft said the public download will be posted to the Windows 7 site . The beta will also be posted to Microsoft's IT-oriented Springboard Series site, which will add a "Windows 7" tab to the existing Windows XP and Windows Vista tabs already there. If you subscribe to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) or TechNet, you can grab it today from here.

Downloaders will have the option of a 32- and 64-bit versions of the beta in the following language options; English, German, Japanese, Arabic and Hindi editions. With more language versions expected at launch.

To install the beta, users must have a DVD drive able to burn disk images to a blank disc. Or you can mount the .iso file to a virtual drive and install it from there. The beta only supports an upgrade from Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) so XP users are going to be left out in the cold, or will need to find a work around. The software gives users plenty of time for testing as it expires on Aug. 1, 2009.

The company said it will close out the beta after 2.5 million downloads. Which means once they reach their alloted amount of product keys you'll be limited to a 30 day trial only. Again there are work arounds available, however it would be best to get in eary and get your key.

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