Official Windows 7 Beta Available for Download
Article by George Norman
On 08 Jan 2009
The next iteration of the Windows operating system, the commonly-named Windows 7, has reached Beta status and Microsoft is offering it for download to whoever is interested in testing the software. The download will be made available on the 9th of January, but MSDN subscribers can get it ahead of time (that is they can get it now). This is the same version of Windows 7 Beta that was leaked to torrent trackers just a little while back.

Director with Windows Client, Celine Allee explains: “After much anticipation, Microsoft has now made Windows 7 Beta available for evaluation and testing to IT professionals! For TechNet subscribers, you can download Windows 7 Beta today here. The beta is your chance to help us with feedback that targets the fundamentals—the 'quality bar' that we are setting for Windows 7 on security, reliability, and performance. If you are interested in getting even more involved, the Windows Feedback Program is your chance to directly influence future versions of the Windows operating system. This program is limited to the first 500 IT professionals to sign up, so don’t delay!”

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If you are really anxious to get your hands on Windows 7 Beta 1, and I mean so anxious that you cannot wait another day for it, there are two options available to you: download it off torrent trackers or become an MSDN customer, but I think you are better off just waiting for it.

Compared to the previous operating system released by Microsoft, Windows Vista, this one is a little gentler with system resources. The minimum system requirements that your system needs to meet in order to run Windows 7 are as follows: a 32 or 64-bit 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB free disk space, DX9 graphics support with 128MB memory, and a DVD drive. Compared to the system requirements for Windows Vista you will notice that the only difference is in the amount of free disk space needed (40GB for Vista). The thing is that it has been about three years since Vista first hit the market and during this time hardware has evolved quite a lot.

Bill Veghte, Microsoft's senior vice president in charge of Windows explains: “We are working very hard to provide comparable capabilities from a hardware consumption perspective -- memory and processor -- to what you saw in Windows Vista, and I think we may even be able to do a little bit better. I don't want to make commitments on where we'll be at RTM (release to manufacturing, when the OS is complete), but at beta right now we look very comparable to the hardware requirements that Windows Vista had when it came out, and the hardware has moved on. I am very optimistic.”

What about the very popular Windows XP OS? Just like Mozilla and Firefox 2.0, Microsoft is moving on and will end support for XP as of summer 2009, on the 30th of May to be more precise.

Windows 7 Beta 1 will be made available to the general public as of January 9, 2008 at this location.



Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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