It seems it wasn’t just our internal network servers which went into melt down – on Friday the rush to be one of the first 2.5 million to download Windows 7 was more than the exceeded capacity could cope with. On top of that, there’s a rumour doing the rounds that the problem with keys was because someone put the wrong number into the system so we had way fewer actually available than planned.
Hopefully those issues are all sorted out, and we’ve made an additional change, the download limit is going to be 2.5 million copies OR two weeks up to January 24th – which ever comes later. I’m going to remain my curmudgeonly self and say that we only need a small number because there is a strong correlation between needing the beta and subscribing to technet.
Wanting the beta is something else entirely , and after a few hours on it getting all the usual bits of software installed I’m feeling less reserved about saying people should run it. The positive reactions I’m seeing round the internet tell me that other people are feeling the same. But Remember there is no technical support available for for pre-release software, (although we’ve created a TechNet online forum where you can ask questions and get answers from other beta testers.) We always talk about people “participating” in a beta and part of my reason for saying we shouldn’t let everyone who wants it into the the beta is that they don’t give feed back - which plays a critical role in the development process. If there’s something you find confusing or annoying—or a feature you absolutely love—please tell us by clicking the "Send Feedback" link at the top of any window.
Remember that you’ll have to re-install Windows, by August 1st. It was nice to get a name check from Ed Bott, who talked about this. Ed’s convinced we’re going to ship in July. And I’ve said before that as far as Microsoft people talking about ship dates is concerned, those who talk don’t know and those who know don’t talk. Past experience has led me to a rule of thumb which says a beta runs for about 3 months, so with nothing else to go on that would suggest updating to next pre-release version around April (conveniently half way to the August 1st expiry date). If that release is designated “Beta 2” it will suggest a ship date of the end of the year. If it’s designated “release candidate” then Ed and the others will be able to say “Told you so”.