Microsoft is applauding Windows 7 Beta to be the apex of all previous Beta releases of Windows 7. By putting Beta Build 7000 on a pedestal, Mike Nash, corporate vice president for Windows Product Management, indirectly praised the work done by Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, the man who took the lead of the Windows project following the departure of Jim Allchin, (former) co-president, Platforms & Services Division. Wrapped up since December 2008, Windows 7 Beta became available to the general public on January 10, 2009, and will continue to remain up for grabs until February 10.
“Overall, there's been a lot of excitement. We heard from partners at PDC and WinHEC that they see great opportunities based on the Windows 7 features I mentioned like Device Stage and multitouch. We also had a beta release that was the most mature of any beta version of Windows. I think the combination of these things really drove a high level of excitement and enthusiasm. Additionally, we saw this enthusiasm continue at CES due to significant interest in the Windows 7 beta availability and the features we showed,” Nash revealed.
Still, by all accounts, Nash is right. Windows 7, even as early as the Beta stage, is feature-complete, indeed a label of maturity. There is no comparing the Win 7 Beta with the first Windows Vista Beta, for example. “We're certainly focused on delivering innovation and it's always interesting to see how our partners take advantage of new features in the product. I think the maturity and predictability of Windows 7 is going to drive a new level of innovation, which will be very exciting to see,” Nash added.
Microsoft is offering not only the Windows 7 client Beta for download but also the Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta releases, in a move designed to gather feedback from users, but also to encourage developers and partners to take advantage of the opportunities the operating systems have to offer.
“Hardware and software partners should go to the sites mentioned above to join the Ecosystem Readiness Program
and access the resources available to begin testing their applications and devices on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 at their earliest convenience,” Nash stated. “It’s a great time for partners to validate that their products work on Windows Vista, which will carry over to Windows 7. The same recommendation applies for server applications that work on Windows Server 2003 but have not been upgraded yet to support Windows Server 2008.”Windows 7 Beta is available for download here
Product keys to activate Windows 7 Beta are available here
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta (Windows 7 Server Beta) is available for download here