Windows 7 Beta Now Available

Windows 7 Beta Now Available

If you’ve been dying to get your hands on Windows 7, then Microsoft has a present for you. During his keynote at CES, Steve Ballmer announced the public availability of Windows 7 Beta 1. One message that Microsoft has been trying to make clear through Windows 7 is that the company is listening. After a less-than-pleasing acceptance and reaction to Vista, Microsoft has spent months talking to businesses and consumers about what they want to see in a new OS. Some of those features, such as touch-based tasks and a better use of resources, are incorporated into Windows 7. 

During his keynote, Ballmer told a crowd that a nearly final "beta" test version of Windows 7 will be available today (Friday) for PC users to download and test. Ballmer also assured users that Windows 7 will boot faster and drain laptop batteries more slowly. 

The Beta expires August 1, 2009. Of course, Microsoft has all sorts of caveats, so that they’re not liable if the beta destroys your computer. The first round of downloads is limited to 2.5 million users. We’re receiving reports of sluggish downloads and busy server errors, so you’ll have to be patient if you want to rock the Windows 7 goodness. (That, or get it from a torrent site…not that we’re encouraging that.) For a legitimate version of the beta, head on over to http://www.microsoft.com/windows7. TechNet Plus subscribers can download the Windows 7 Beta software here.

Minimum hardware recommendations for running Windows 7 are as follows:

  • Processor: 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
  • Memory:  1 GB of system memory
  • Hard drive: 16 GB of available disk space
  • Video card:  Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128MB memory (in order to enable Aero theme)
  • Drive: DVD-R/W drive
  • Internet connection (to download the Beta and get updates)

Update: After struggling to keep up with demand, Microsoft has pulled the beta for now. From The Windows Blog:
"Due to very heavy traffic we’re seeing as a result of interest in the Windows 7 Beta, we are adding some additional infrastructure support to the Microsoft.com properties before we post the public beta. We want to ensure customers have the best possible experience when downloading the beta, and I’ll be posting here again soon once the beta goes live. Stay tuned! We are excited that you are excited!"

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I wouldn't mind trying it...

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Der Meister:

I wouldn't mind trying it...

Totally worth a try while it's free. It quite good. After burning the CD it only took around 10 minutes to install. Messed up my Ubuntu install in the MBR, but not Vista. On my girlfriends rig she has Ubuntu installed with Wubi and it didn't mess that up.

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I am downloading it right now. My friend has it and he loves it.

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MS has removed the download at this time and posted this message: We're sorry for the delay and we'll re-post the Beta as soon as we can ensure a quality download experience.Sad

 

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Tweakguides.com has working links for both the 32 and 64 bit versions, but you'll still need a key of course.

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I just now checked and MS has once again re-posted the Beta download.

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XKCD

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I'm pulling it down off of the technet site at about 600KB/s...should have it in about two hours. Gonna install on my notebook and will post my thoughts in my blog in a few days.

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I got a beta key and am dl'ing it now, but where do I get proper drivers? Use Vista drivers?

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wow, sounds really awesome! is it ok for me to request screenshots of the GUI in windows 7?

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I really want to try it, but I don't want to risk it. I second the request of pics, so us other HHers can see what it looks like. I look forward to your thoughts Marco.

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After using it for an hour so far, it loox like they're just trying to re market Vista. Yes it has new features, but 90% of it loox exactly like Vista.

At this point I think the new toolbar is it's best feature.

IMHO W7 will be most attractive to those who are coming from XP and skipped Vista altogether.

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Vista drivers should work I think. I am just using the drivers that auto installed. From what I have read it runs good on netbooks so I think I'm going to track down a external dvd drive and put it on my Aspire One. Stick out tongue

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Windows experience index now goes up to 7.9(vs 5.9 in Vista).

 

I currently have 7 installed on my secondary system and my scores are:

Processor(C2D E4600 2.4ghz)=5.6(scores 5.3 on Vista)

Memory(2 x 1gb 800 C5)=5.5(scores 4.9 on Vista)

Graphics(Intel GMA 3100 onboard)=4.1(scores 3.6 on Vista)

Gaming graphics=3.3(same score on Vista)

Primary hard disk(80gb 7200rpm 8mb cache sata)=5.3(same on Vista)

 

Personally I could care less about these scores, but threw them up for the heck of it and for conversational purposes. :)

 

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And I have a 5.7 on my memory in 7 and a 5.9 in vistaSad

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Weird.

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recoveringknowitall:

Weird.

Yeah I'm quite sad about it. Also 3vi1 I love XKCD! You just made me lose a half hour getting caught up on them.

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As of 8am EST, the download links are not working. I downloaded both the 32 and 64 bit version last night at home, but this morning when I tried at work I got page not found errors.

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The links are going up and down--the 32-bit download was just working, but 64-bit was not.

So far, my experience is mixed. It does look much like Vista, but that's a good thing in my opinion. Performance is definitely very good even with the feedback and debug code enabled. It installed almost perfectly on my laptop, but it couldn't find drivers for three devices, and they are unidentified so I can just install the drivers myself without doing some more research.

I'm going to spend more time tinkering over the next couple of weeks. But, as of now, my impression is good to very good.

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Marco C:
The links are going up and down--the 32-bit download was just working, but 64-bit was not.

Explains my problem this morning....

Anyway, I am excited to test it out -- I wish I had vmware or some virtual machine software to install it w/o formatting my existing machines... :(

Marco, does WMP/WMC have built-in HD support? (I noticed a short agreement involving H.264 etc...) If so that'd be awesome!

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Quicktime .mov files which are h.264 encoded play fine in WMP12 but you have to force them to open in WMP or change the file association. AVI's encoded in Divx or Xvid can be played back in WMP 12 just fine without installing codecs. Also i could play abck some AVC HD files OK and others not so OK. no idea why.

 

I'm liking the new OS quite a bit actually.

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Marco C:
But, as of now, my impression is good to very good.
Ditto.

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Windows 7 looks like Vista. does that mean that it also requires the 500MB of RAM just to keep the 3D background running the same as Vista?

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shortysdohdoh:

Windows 7 looks like Vista. does that mean that it also requires the 500MB of RAM just to keep the 3D background running the same as Vista?

Windows 7 is actually quite fast.

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Hey Ice,

I'm not sure, and haven't had time to mess around today. Gimme a couple days and I'll check it out.

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