Download Windows 7 now…

…so that the internet can recover by Monday morning when everyone wants to do real work again.  The download is available at  I really like the description on the page:

New to beta testing? Here's what you need to know:
  • You'll need some technical skills, like knowing how to:

    • Burn an ISO file to make an install DVD (A good example of what we mean by “technical”)

    • Install Windows (of course)

    • Backup and restore your PC (There's a chance of losing files, so it's a good idea to do a backup of anything you want to save.)

    • Set up a network

    It can be glitchy—so don't use a PC you need every day.

  • Minimum recommended specs call for:

    • 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor

    • 1 GB of system memory

    • 16 GB of available disk space

    • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (to enable the Aero theme)

    • DVD-R/W Drive

    • Internet access (to download the Beta and get updates)

    And yes, like anything tech-related, these specs could change.

  • Some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of "touch," may require advanced or additional hardware.

  • You'll need a system recovery disk (and know how to use it).

  • You're [almost] flying solo: you'll need to troubleshoot problems yourself and call on other Beta testers for their know-how.

  • It's a two-way thing—Beta testing is about feedback so our developers can fix bugs and hear what appeals to the people who use our products daily. Please tell us what you think.

  • Watch the calendar. The Beta expires on August 1, 2009. To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. (See installation instructions.)

Finally, fine print not written by a lawyer (or at least reinterpreted by someone who speaks “normally”).

Be sure to read the posted release notes, as there are at least two hotfixes available for Windows 7 (one for an issues around MP3 files, another for Media Center).

It’s worth pointing out that the minimum specs above are pretty much the same as those documented at for Windows Vista (ignore Home Basic, who uses that anyway?).  That’s a good sign – Windows 7 shouldn’t require any more resources.

Also notice that it no longer says that you need a 40GB hard disk, just that you need 16GB free.  So Windows 7 will run on netbook computers.  I’m still resisting the urge to buy one as I still consider a 10” screen to be way too small.  (And beware of slow SSD disks.)  But eventually I’ll have to give in…

Comments (2)
  1. Anonymous says:

    I can vouch for Windows 7 running on a netbook. I succesfully ran a light touch deployment to my Acer Aspire One 150. I’ve increased the system memory to 1.5GB and its the version with a 120GB SATA disk… I wouldnt bother with an SSD netbook. Boot time is a respectable 38 seconds on a vanilla 7 Enterprise installation.

  2. Keith Combs says:

    I did a download this afternoon.  I always try to test what our customers see.  I downloaded the x64 version of Windows 7 Ultimate in 20 minutes.

    It was the fastest download I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure what we did, but my Verizon FIOS fiber connection was digging it.

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