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Windows IT

Windows 7 Beta Released To Public After Delay 848

Z80xxc! writes "The Windows 7 Beta release is now available for download by the general public, in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. Microsoft had previously announced availability around 3 PM PST on Friday, but after unexpected numbers of people proved to be interested in the download, had to postpone it to add more servers."
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Windows 7 Beta Released To Public After Delay

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  • by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:40PM (#26401157) Homepage Journal

    They finally released it after a delay.

    The delay?

    They couldn't figure out how to upload the torrent to PirateBay.....

  • two license keys (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:42PM (#26401191)
    I happened to pull up the webpage a few minutes after I got back home and saw that it was live. So I signed into my Live account and grabbed the 32-bit version (gonna slap it onto my Mini 9--it's nice having a small expendable machine around--though OS X is running really smoothly on it at the moment). Anyhow, their buggy sign-in system ended up giving me two license keys. So I went back to the download page and opted for the 64-bit version, too. Again, it gave me 2 license keys. Anyone else getting this?
    • Re:two license keys (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Z80xxc! ( 1111479 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:50PM (#26401277)
      I noticed this as well. I refreshed a few times, and got a total of 5 product keys, and after those 5 it would just repeat the same ones in random order each time I refreshed. I talked to some other people I know who have gotten the beta, and they noticed the same thing. We compared the first 5 and last 5 characters of the product keys and they were all the same, so we're assuming that there are 5 generic keys out there. This would mean that MS is no longer limiting it to 2.5 million keys, as they were going to. I do not know this for sure, but it seems to be what people are noticing...
      • Re:two license keys (Score:5, Informative)

        by mobby_6kl ( 668092 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:14PM (#26401503)

        It looks like they're assigning keys from a small pool so they're not unique for each person/installation. Both the 32 and 64 bit ISOs are also everywhere, so you can grab any torrent (the hashes match) and then try to register with one of the following keys:



        Of course, the public beta won't get you any free stuff from MS for bug reports so you might as well just rearm it a couple of times and then get the RTM version or install GNU/Linux in disgust.

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm a i l . com> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:43PM (#26401197)
    Boot from a virtual disk (VHD) without virtualising - []

    After playing with it for a day or so, I think Libraries are interesting but I need to play with them some more before committing. The taskbar is nice, and works well - several of the 'cute' features are well thought out, such as the 'Show Desktop' functionality now being a small sliver of the taskbar on the right hand side, which if you hover over makes all windows 100% translucent, and if you click it minimises everything. Each 'window preview' on an application instance icon in the task bar does something similar if you hover on it - only keeps that apps windows opaque. Nice.

    It seems very stable - the installer was the Windows 2008 one, it literally asks what language you want, where you want it installed and do you want to upgrade or fresh install. Then its away and installing - everything else is done afterward.

    IE8 has issues on this website - lots of refreshing to a blank page for seemingly no reason. Not ready for the prime time - Chrome and Firefox work fine though.

    One thing that struck me, and other people I have talked about, is that due to the focus on icons for the task bar now (instead of the label, as Win95 to Vista uses), some people are really going to have to polish their icons (Putty - the icon is nice when its small, but it sucks at larger sizes - at the moment Im using the Kterm icon for Putty!).

    While I cant say Ive heavily stress tested it, theres been no show stoppers for me as of yet. I'm currently using it as my main desktop (aside from my OSX systems), so we shall see how we get on in the coming months.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:12PM (#26401485)

      Nice post and tidbits there, just one tiny nitpick.

      which if you hover over makes all windows 100% translucent

      At what point is something considered 100% translucent? 99.90% transparent? 99.99999999%? =)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DeadDecoy ( 877617 )
      While the user interface enhancements sound nice, they no longer seem like a reason to get it over say XP, OSX, or Linux. I think, what would do it for me is if they had some support to manage my software and files (ie version control for documents and a software repos) that was native to the system. And maybe a decent shell. These are the particular features of why I prefer linux over windows. It seems like nowadays, their primary focus has been to show that they can be just as glitzy as OSX instead of add
  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:50PM (#26401273) Homepage Journal
    I tried to download the beta, and ended up with a sign in page that offers no ability to sign in anywhere. Perhaps they don't like my browser?

    I am running Konqueror on KDE (in FreeBSD). I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to test that combination for their web site.
  • by Rinisari ( 521266 ) * on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:50PM (#26401279) Homepage Journal

    Windows 7 still doesn't have virtual desktops. OSX has had them for a few releases and every major desktop environment for Linux has had them since the beginning.

    • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:25PM (#26401593)

      That's because nobody's asked for them. It's not some grand conspiracy against you, and its not as if Microsoft doesn't have the technical resources to provide it, it's just not a very popular feature. Sorry.

      Or are you just cherry-picking one of the (extremely few) GUI features Linux has that Windows doesn't have as some way of boosting your Linux-using cred? I guess that's more likely.

  • Site seems to break (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ya really ( 1257084 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:07PM (#26401441)

    Is it just me or does this download break on every browser but IE?

    I tried:

    • Opera 9.63
    • Firefox 3
    • Safari
    • Konqueror

    Anyone else get similar results?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      From Microsoft's Windows 7 FAQ :

      What web browsers support the Windows 7 Beta download experience?
      Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 support the Windows 7 Beta download experience.

      Typical MS. Does this inspire confidence in their products for you?
  • by JimXugle ( 921609 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:09PM (#26401461)

    I've installed Windows 7 32-bit Pre-Pre-Release (build 7000 for inquiring minds) on my gaming machine and it works surprisingly well. Ventrilo took a bit of fiddling to work right, but other than that it worked better out of the box than XP Service Pack 3 does. It didn't need any extra drivers, although it did prompt me to update the Graphics card driver, which it happily did automatically.

    Then the trouble started.

    Since I had several firefox tabs open, I opted to put the computer into Hibernation for the night so I could continue with them this morning. It obliged surprisingly quickly and shut off the system power. Fans went off, case lights went off, and the USB devices lost power. The system was off. Off I Tell you!

    I went to bed. While reading Paris in the 20th Century [] by Jules Verne, almost an hour after I had shut off the machine, quietly returned to life! I thought that some bump or vibration or some minuscule cosmic ray had activated the case button and quickly dismissed it as some one-off odd event. I went back to reading about Le Grande Entrepôt.

    About a chapter later, I don't know how much time had passed, the beast roared back to life with the ferocity of all fans at one hundred percent and the squeal of the system speaker! Twice in one night was too much for coincidence. I put the machine into hibernation once again, unplugged the power supply and resigned myself that if it came back to life once more, I would call a priest for an exorcism. (which would be quite a phone call, considering that I do not frequent churches)

    Tonight, I will be sleeping with a copy of dBaN [] by my side.

  • by Anachragnome ( 1008495 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:10PM (#26401467)

    Does it remove, or add, more control of my machine?

    If it adds to my current XP2 configuration, fine, I'll CONSIDER it as a replacement on this machine when XP finally goes belly up.

    If it REMOVES any control of my machine, in any way, then it is just another Vista, in my mind.

    I keep seeing benchmarking, eye-candy comparisons, etc, etc, but no real discussion of embedded DRM schemes, hidden processes, etc.

    It is the stuff that I cannot see on my monitor that concerns me the most when considering a OS.

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:17PM (#26401525) Homepage

    Why is this story tagged "hitler"?

    xkcd WHAT?

  • by CuteSteveJobs ( 1343851 ) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:32PM (#26401659)
    Yeah, it doesn't work on Firefox. Why do you insist on putting all your eggs in one basket Microsoft, a la DirectX 10 and Vista?

    However if you edit the download web page source you will find an embedded JavaScript link: [].... copy and paste that and you'll get another web page telling you:

    " If you have not already installed ActiveX control or the JavaTM applet, an information box will appear in your Microsoft Internet Explorer browser prompting you to install "ActiveX control:... If the Download Manager can not install the ActiveX control or the JavaTM applet in your browser, you may have system restrictions. If you have system restrictions, please: * Download products using the Web Browser method * Contact your organizationâ(TM)s Administrator to download products using the Download Manager method"

    Blah Blah Blah. Look, Microsoft. This is easy. You give us a link, and we download it. Why do you have to drown something AS SIMPLE AS DOWNLOADING A FILE UNDER TONNES OF YOUR INSECURE ACTIVEX RUBBISH or even Java? You've got a separate ProductID you assign people, so what is your problem here (beyond your own myopic bureaucratic stupidity?)

    Well okay Microsoft. I can't be bothered wading through your hopeless web programmers inane crap, so I'll wait for the torrent to appear and use my ProductID with that.

    PS. I tried Vista for two months, thought it was total crap deleted it and reinstalled XP. I gave you another chance but you're really trying my patience. Please fire everyone who worked on Vista (especially your marketing) and your goober web programmers. They are really getting on my nerves.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"