Just one day after Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer officially announced the availability of Windows 7 Beta
at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2009) in Las Vegas, the company has hit the first issues related to the distribution of the bits. While Windows 7 Beta 1 was indeed available to TechNet Plus and MSDN subscribers without any issues reported, the same is not the case when it comes down to the product keys designed to activate the operating system throughout the Beta testing period. (Update:
Windows 7 Beta is available for download here.
Microsoft failed to offer any specifics, but the software company did confirm that some TechNet Plus and MSDN subscribers were unable to access the Windows 7 Beta product keys accompanying the downloads. In this context, Win7 Beta installations would have to be left unactivated, the Redmond company said.
“For customers having difficulties accessing Windows 7 Beta product keys be aware that the Windows 7 Beta has a built in 30 day grace period for installations before product keys are required. Customers with this issue should continue to download and install Windows 7 Beta without the product key, and then check back later when this issue is resolved,” a member of the TechNet Plus team revealed
Just as is the case with Windows Vista and Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows 7 Beta, as well as previous development milestones of the platform, can be installed without requiring the introduction of a product key. In a manner comparable to that of Vista's, unactivated installations of Windows 7 Beta will offer users a 30-day Initial Grace period in which the operating system is fully functional.
Microsoft indicated that the Beta bits of Windows 7 were time-bombed, and that the expiration date was set for August 1, 2009. In this case, even in the context of activating the Windows 7 Beta with a valid product key, the operating system will become unusable as of mid-2009.
Windows 7 Beta is available for download here
(direct download links for both x86 and x64 Win 7 Beta).