posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Jan 2009 07:16 UTC
IconEven though the Windows 7 beta had been available on piracy networks for a while now, it still hadn't been officially released. During his pre-show keynote at CES, Steve Ballmer officially launched the Windows 7 beta onto the world via TechNet, MSDN, and Connect. It will become available to the general public this Friday.

The Windows 7 beta will expire after August 1, 2009, and the download cap for the public version has been set to 2.5 million. As it turns out, it wasn't such a bad thing that the beta made it to the piracy networks, as users already confirmed a major bug in the beta, which was been squashed b Microsoft in time for the official release. Windows Server 2008 R2 has also been released as a beta.

OSNews already reviewed the beta earlier this week. Even though Microsoft seems to be on the right track, there are still some bugs that need to be squashed, and the company needs to make sure it doesn't do anything epically stupid that will destroy the positive image Windows 7 has in the media right now.

In any case, happy beta testing!

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