Sunday, January 11, 2009

Microsoft: Unlimited Windows 7 Beta downloads for two weeks

This is something I would not usually cover as much as I love computers but thought it would bring you some good info. I would still wait to see if any bugs are in it though.

If you've been struggling to download the Windows 7 Beta, here's a reprieve: Microsoft is removing the previous limit of 2.5 million downloads and saying that the initial beta release of the new operating system will instead be available for the next two weeks, even if that number is exceeded.

The beta release, originally scheduled for yesterday, was delayed until today while the company shored up its online infrastructure to deal with higher-than-expected interest in the next operating system. Apparently that wasn't enough.

"Due to an enormous surge in demand, the download experience was not ideal so we listened and took the necessary steps to ensure a good experience," the Windows team said this afternoon. "We have clearly heard that many of you want to check out the Windows 7 Beta and, as a result, we have decided remove the initial 2.5 million limit on the public beta for the next two weeks (thru January 24th)."

Download frustrations aside, the next operating system appears to be getting good reviews, which is no doubt welcome news for Microsoft after Windows Vista's struggles. CNet, for example, opines that Windows 7 could be one of Microsoft's greatest operating systems," based on its experience with the beta over the past couple days.

I'm headed home from Las Vegas but planning to download and install the beta on my spare computer, a 3-year-old ThinkPad, as soon as I get a chance. If you're already using the beta, it would be great to hear about your experience so far.

Because of improvements under the hood, Windows 7 isn't expected to require nearly the computing horsepower that Windows Vista did. Microsoft offers these recommended specs for using the beta, but cautions that they could change.

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