Published on January 8, 2009 By Island Dog In CES 2009

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, kicked off CES 2009 last night with his keynote speech in which he announced the Windows 7 beta will be available for public download, this Friday. This will be a download-only version, and will expire in August. They haven't announced yet at what time it will be available, but it will only be for a limited time to the first 2.5 million downloaded.

The Windows 7 Beta will be available in English, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Hindi, and each language will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions (except Hindi which will only be available in 32-bit). Because the Windows 7 Beta will be offered download-only, it will be provided to you as an ISO image (an .iso file) that you download. After downloading either the 32-bit or 64-bit ISO image of the Windows 7 Beta, you will be required to burn the ISO image to a DVD to install Windows 7.
So you want to be sure you have a DVD burner before spending the time downloading the ISO image. To burn the ISO image of the Windows 7 Beta to DVD, if your PC comes with Nero or Roxio products – you should be able to burn the ISO image to DVD. If you don’t already have DVD burning software on your PC, you can also check out ImgBurn which is free and can be downloaded here.
The Windows 7 Beta only supports Windows Vista SP1 to Windows 7 upgrades. So if you intend to do an upgrade – be sure it is on a PC running Windows Vista with Service Pack 1. We are not yet announcing anything regarding finalized upgrade paths for Windows 7.

Get more information on the Windows 7 beta at the Windows 7 Team Blog.


on Jan 08, 2009

Yeah, I got the email from them.  Wonder why though since I am not authorized to download it anyway ...

on Jan 08, 2009

You mention that the beta only supports Vista SP1.

When the product is finally for retail sale, do you know if XP users will have to upgrade to Vista so that they can upgrade to 7?

on Jan 08, 2009

to little-whip

what do ou mean ? As far as I know, the latest and greatest is still Vista. Windows7 is only available as Beta. I don't see my dad or mum install that.

So the previous version would be XP. So you claim that no regular, non-weenie ypes have tried XP ? It has been there for, what, seven years ?

On top, many people I know got scared of Vista because of the negative "geek press". Once they installed Vista - surprise - they found it perfect for their needs. Just as XP was.

Of course, no-one stops you to move away from Microsoft to Linux. And if you don't like the control Microsoft has over your desktop, well good luck with Mac.

Just my 2 cents. And by the way, until the retail version is for sale, Windows7 is Free for you to download, try out and use it - or not. At least this time around, you are not paying to be the guinea pig. Your chance to help them get the product out without (too many) errors ! What are you waiting for ? 

on Jan 08, 2009

This will just be a good excuse to end support for Vista. I believe it is MS policy to stop support  (as in improvements) for their OS's a year or two after the new OS come on-line. Not including Windows Me, this will be the shortest life cycle of any modern MS OS depending on the actual release date. Windows 98 and NT had a long life, and thanks to Vista, deserved or not, XP is up there too.

The big problem is it has become too costly to upgrade (especially when you have multiple PC's). I use software into the ground. If it works I keep it no matter how old it is. I dread the day (but I think it's coming) when you;ll have to subscribe to your OS and pay a yearly fee. That seems to be the trend.

on Jan 09, 2009
Info straight from the horses mouth on consumer XP (Pro but all versions have the same dates)support.


"Microsoft will offer Mainstream Support for either a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability, or for 2 years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer. Extended Support is not offered for Consumer, Hardware, and Multimedia products. Products that release new versions annually, such as Microsoft Money, Microsoft Encarta, Microsoft Picture It!, and Microsoft Streets & Trips, will receive a minimum of 3 years of Mainstream Support from the product's date of availability. Most products will also receive at least 8 years of online self-help support. Microsoft Xbox games are currently not included in the Support Lifecycle policy."

on Jan 09, 2009

Here's Vista in case anyone is interested:

Products ReleasedGeneral Availability DateMainstream Support RetiredExtended Support RetiredService Pack RetiredNotes
Windows Vista Ultimate 1/25/2007 4/10/2012 Not Applicable 4/13/2010