Windows 7 is the next version of the Windows operating system, successor to Windows Vista, due for release later in 2009.
A post yesterday on the Windows Team blog has detailed information on downloading and installing the beta. However, as I write these words, there must be huge interest in the beta as attempts to access that post during the past several hours only produces a â€˜server too busyâ€™ message.
And access to much content on the Microsoft domain is pretty slow, producing many â€˜Waiting for www.microsoft.comâ€¦â€™ browser status messages.
- The Windows 7 public beta will be available for download only (Microsoft is not sending out copies on DVD).
It will be available for a limited time to the first 2.5 million people who download it. The post doesnâ€™t say what â€˜limited timeâ€™ means but I would guess that 2.5 million downloads will happen quite quickly.The limit has been removed and â€˜limited timeâ€™ means by Jan 24 â€“ see Jan 11 update below.
- The beta will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions in the English, German, Japanese, Arabic or Hindi languages (no 64-bit version in Hindi).
- The file you download will be an ISO image which you need to burn to a DVD. If you donâ€™t have burner software such as Roxio or Nero to do that, the post recommends the free ImgBurn app.
- Windows 7 beta is available in one edition only, roughly equivalent to Windows Vista Ultimate.
- Windows 7 beta will expire on August 1, 2009.
Those are the key things from the post; you might be able to access the post by the time Iâ€™ve published this one and so you will be able to read all the other information there as well. Thereâ€™s Google cache in the meantime!
Hereâ€™s another link to the Windows 7 home page as Iâ€™m sure details of the public beta download and how to get it will be posted there at some point.
I intend to take Windows 7 beta for a test drive, probably installing it on my Dell XPS 420 desktop in a second partition so I can boot up either to Vista or 7. Iâ€™m conscious that in spite of near-universal acclaim for Windows 7 beta that Iâ€™ve seen, itâ€™s still a beta. PC Pro magazineâ€™s Barry Collins has 10 tips for Windows 7 beta testers.
This of course assumes I can connect to the Microsoft download servers once the beta is actually available during today US Pacific time. I would imagine the huge interest in this product will lead to quite a few â€˜server too busyâ€™ or equivalent messages today.
Likely for me will be a download attempt over the weekend, assuming 2.5 million others wonâ€™t have already done that.
[Update Sunday Jan 11:] It certainly does seem that Microsoft did not expect such a high Windows 7 beta demand as much commentary since Friday clearly indicates.
While I eventually managed to get to the download link and install the download manager app, Iâ€™ve had no luck at all yet in actually downloading the beta.
Now that Microsoft has removed the limit of 2.5 million downloads, I might have more luck with continuing attempts. As long as I can do that by the cut-off date of January 24.
[Update Monday Jan 12:] In spite of continuing attempts to download the beta file, this time via a direct download link via a Microsoft friend, no luck so far.
In any event, I will have the beta soon enough on DVD via a Microsoft friend. More later, therefore.