Steve Ballmer announced during his CES keynote the immediate availability of the Windows 7 beta to TechNet Plus and MSDN subscribers.
The keynote also included demos of how Windows 7 is faster, more reliable, and makes it easier to do what you want.
Steve also mentioned then that an open download of the Windows 7 beta would become available (already is now).
Additional facts gathered from blog posts:
- The public beta will be limited to 2.5m downloads
- The beta will expire on August 1st, 2009
- A public beta of Windows Server 2008 R2 is also available
Keynote videos, including demos: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/ces/
Details on Windows 7: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/
Details on Windows Server 2008 R2: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/r2.aspx
Windows team blog announcement: http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/01/07/information-on-downloading-and-installing-windows-7-beta.aspx
Download link for MSDN subscribers: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/default.aspx
Download link for TechNet Plus subscribers: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/default.aspx
Download link for Microsoft Partners: https://partner.microsoft.com/us/40084742
Download link for the public Windows 7 beta: http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/dd353205.aspx
Download link for the public Windows Server 2008 R2 beta: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/R2-Beta.aspx
- What’s To Like?
- Speed. the overall system just feels snappier
- Stability. can’t put my finger on it but again, it feels more stable than Vista (even SP1)
- Fit and finish. this is what I wanted in Vista. Some of the UI touches like Aero Peek, Aero Shake, the display control panel, jump lists, desktop preview are all elegant and simple.
- UAC is now under your control at the click of a mouse
- Michael J. Murphy at http://blogs.technet.com/mjmurphy/archive/2009/01/08/get-windows-7-beta-friday-jan-9th.aspx
- Microsoft Partners can find lots of additional information, including the Windows 7 Online Readiness Kit
- Drey at http://blogs.technet.com/drey/archive/2009/01/08/the-week-of-windows-7.aspx
- Homegroup is another enhancement i've been making use of over the holidays. I had 6 windows 7 systems running at home - all connected to each other via homegroup.
- The UI enhancements which were demoed at CES but surpressed in the pre beta build, are available in the beta.
- Brandon LeBlanc at http://blogs.technet.com/koen_daems/archive/2009/01/08/3178019.aspx
- I’m all connected with HomeGroup, I’ve got several different Libraries set up, and I’m loving the new Windows Taskbar.
- I’ve got Windows Media Center recording my favorite TV shows and my Zune 80 syncing up with the Zune software. And things are even better with Windows Live Essentials installed.
- I find the Windows 7 Beta to be an amazing beta release and I am extremely excited for you to get your hands on it later this week!
- Arlindo at http://blogs.technet.com/aralves/archive/2009/01/08/windows-7-beta-for-technet-subscribers.aspx
- For a more in-depth view of Windows 7 and how it will impact your day-to-day work, take a look at the feature articles on the Springboard Series
- For more background on the fundamentals, visit the Engineering Windows 7 blog.
- Ned Pyle at http://blogs.technet.com/askds/archive/2009/01/08/windows-7-for-technet-and-msdn-subscribers.aspx
- Unless you are part of TAP, TechBeta, or OEM Beta, you cannot get support for Windows 7.
- If you don't know what those three things are, you aren't in them.
- This goes for Premier customers, Pro customers, people with MSDN or TechNet Support 5-packs, and the rest.
- Realizing Value at http://blogs.technet.com/cmross/archive/2009/01/07/interested-in-windows-7-here-s-what-you-need-to-know-now.aspx
- It only supports Windows Vista SP1 to Windows 7 upgrades.
- The Windows 7 Beta will be only available in one edition, which is roughly equivalent the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista.
- Damir at http://blogs.technet.com/canitpro/archive/2009/01/07/technet-plus-subscribers-download-windows-7-and-windows-server-2008-r2-beta-now.aspx
- I'm writing it because I know that many of you have a TechNet Plus subscription...
- If you have been waiting with baited breath for Windows 7 to come out so that you can play with it, wait no more.
- You can also download Windows Server 2008 R2 beta as well so that you can test out both the client and server piece of the next version of Windows.
- In case you're wondering, yes, it is downloading to my machine as I write this post.
- James O'Neill at http://blogs.technet.com/jamesone/archive/2009/01/08/windows-server-2008-r2-and-windows-7-client-betas-on-technet.aspx
- Touch in Windows 7 is going to get a lot of attention. I can see quite a few “lightweight surface” type apps being built with that.
- Ward Pond at http://blogs.technet.com/wardpond/archive/2009/01/07/windows-7-beta-available-for-download-this-friday-january-9.aspx
- The beta will only be available for a limited time, to the first 2.5 million people who download the software.
- The software will be available only via download, and only in an ISO image.
- You'll need to burn the ISO image to a DVD in order to install the Windows 7 Beta.
- The software will be available in five languages -- English, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Hindi.
- All languages except Hindi will be available in 32- and 64-bit versions.
- For the Beta, Hindi is only available in a 32-bit version.
- All versions of the Beta will expire on August 1, 2009.
- Michael Niehaus at http://blogs.technet.com/mniehaus/archive/2009/01/08/windows-7-beta-announced-today.aspx
- ... we’ve been working on tools to help with the deployment of Windows 7, so hopefully you’ve signed up on http://connect.microsoft.com to be notified once MDT 2010 Beta 1 is available.
- See http://blogs.technet.com/msdeployment/archive/2008/12/03/a-new-version-is-coming-soon.aspx for the instructions.
- STB blog at http://blogs.technet.com/stbnewsbytes/archive/2009/01/07/windows-server-2008-r2-at-ces.aspx
- Some of the highlights (for Windows Server 2008 R2) include: Direct Access, Live Migration for virtual machines, BranchCache and PowerShell 2.0
- Keith Combs at http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2009/01/07/windows-7-now-available-for-download.aspx
- Offered a screenshot: