Microsoft sends out Windows 7 Beta 1 invites

Microsoft sends out Windows 7 Beta 1 invites

Summary: Microsoft sent to a select group of testers on December 16 invitations to participate in Windows 7 Beta 1. Individuals who received the invites are considered "tech beta testers." Here is part of the note Microsoft sent to the invitees.


Microsoft sent to a select group of testers on December 16 invitations to participate in Windows 7 Beta 1.

Individuals who received the invites are considered "tech beta testers." From the note Microsoft sent to the invitees:

"While (the Windows 7) beta will not be available until early 2009 we, know you are excited to get started so we have opened the microsoft.beta.win7.lobby (on the Microsoft Connect site) so you may begin renewing acquaintances with previous participants as well as meeting new testing peers. After accepting the invitation, you will be able to sign into Microsoft Connect and click on the 'Windows 7 Beta Program' link for more information on accessing the newsgroups.

"As well, to better understand our audience and how we are asking you to complete the following three surveys to tell us about yourself. Each survey has 20-40 questions and each should take you approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. You don’t have to take them all at once nor do you have to do it right now.  We ask though that at some point you find time to complete them. As a thank-you for completing these prior to the end of the calendar year (Prior to January 1st, 2009) each participant who completes all three surveys (or indicates 'already taken') will be put into a drawing and five winners selected to receive some Windows 7 logo’ed toys!"

Beta 1 will be the first -- and I've heard only -- Windows 7 test build that Microsoft plans to make  available to the public. I asked Microsoft how long after the tech beta testers get their code will the company make Beta 1 available to the public. No word back yet.

Update: Microsoft declined to comment on when a public release of Beta 1 would occur. A spokesperson also declined to comment on how many folks will be part of the Windows 7 Beta 1 tech beta tester pool.

Microsoft officials said at the Professional Developers Conference that the company was planning to release Windows 7 Beta 1 in early 2009. My ZDNet blogging colleague Ed Bott has put a stake in the ground with his prediction of a January 13, 2009 Beta 1 release date.

Until quite recently, Microsoft was planning to make Windows 7 Beta 1 available to the public just before Christmas. Just last month, a few folks told me the Windows 7 team was slated to do its "beta engineering signoff" on December 10. A one-week internal Windows 7 beta release was slated for December 11 to 17. And Windows 7 "beta product availability" was scheduled to commence on December 17. That December 17 date was for the public Windows 7 Beta 1, I was told by various sources.

If Microsoft is now planning to get tech beta testers code in the new year, I'd expect that the final Windows 7 release could be slightly later than the mid-2009 date I've been hearing for the past several weeks. But word is the Windows 7 team is still tracking to get the code to PC makers in time for them to preload it on new PCs for the holiday 2009 season.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Why the hurry?

    Microsoft has no intentions to put out a possibly good OS during an economic meltdown. I'm sure the economy has something to do with Microsoft's decisions and, quite frankly, a little extra time will go a long way in terms of pleasing a larger group of people.
  • who cares about win7? it's just vista SP1 with a small of new features

    who cares about win7? it's just vista SP1 with a small of new features.
    • Who cares?

      Who cares if it's a reworked version of Vista?

      As long as they've fixed the slowness, awkwardness, and compatibility problems, it may be a reasonable OS.
      Alan Balkany
      • I never had slowness problems with my Vista since RTM

        I never had slowness problems with my Vista since RTM
        Win7 is based on Vista, so you'll have the same compatibility problems.
        Any existent problem in Vista will be fixed with patches delivered via Windows Update, Service Packs (SP1, SP2, etc)... Vista will be supported for decades so it improves day by day, sevice pack by service pack, year by year...
        • That's hilarious

          I've upgraded dozens of machines with XP that ran great and once Vista was installed what a dog! Had one last night as matter of fact. Owner is disgusted and truly regrets that he didn't listen to my advice to stick to XP until we see what 7 looks like. SP1 solves nothing and if anything it is even slower.
          • re: That's hilarious

            I went from XP to Vista on an e4300 (probably the slowest Core2 desktop CPU) and noticed know change in speed.

            In the fall of 2006, I tried it on an Athlon 64 3000 and aside from gaming, I found it worked at least as well as the XP build on the same machine.

            Gaming, however, was awful, which is directly attributable to the terrible drivers from ATI (what my machine used) and Nvidia.

            What is often forgotten is that gaming was all that great on XP when it first came out. All the enthusiast sites said to hold off on upgrading....and that didn't change for at least a year or 2.

            Now if you want to complain about UAC (when combined with non UAC messages), that's still a problem, but it's one that only affects you if you're moving files around in protected directories, for example, moving a file in the Programs directory. Most people won't do that.

            I do lots of things that most do not, and I still don't see that many (if any) UAC prompts on a daily basis. Now if building a new Install, then you get those things, but you get that stuff in Linux too.

            Linux is somewhat better, because for a limited time, it will remember that you entered a PW to run/install some item (though only from that specific xterm), so you won't have any prompts if you rerun the prog for that period.

            Furthermore, if you run programs in vista from an Admin dos box, you can avoid most prompts.
  • RE: Microsoft sends out Windows 7 Beta 1 invites

    this looks like the gloss-over of win98, where it was a flaky os and win98se was released as a second edition to fix it. they suckered millions into paying for win 98 twice.

    A fool and his money is some party!

    Application requires win9x or better.....OK Linux Installed!
    Not A Blind Sheep
  • RE: Microsoft sends out Windows 7 Beta 1 invites

    Sniff. I didn't get an invitation. :-)
    Gis Bun
  • lookout

    i think windows 7 will be MS's smack down. I think MS learned some real lessons from vista and will come out with a solid product that will be a hit. This means all of us that support, manage, plan are going to be caught by surprise because we kind of got in to a grove cranking out XP machines. Here me NOVELL i want iprint, ifolder, client ready for this thing when it launches, not 1 yr later like vista
  • Ok, what about TechNet and MSDN Subscribers?

    Here we go again...
    • Doesn't matter

      Everyone's going to get RC1 -- excuse me, Beta 1 -- so the fact that some technical testers get it 1 day or 1 week early hardly matters. This is not like the normal beta where tech testers have months of builds before any are officially made public.

      And let's not forget what age we're in. Any and all builds leak within a few hours. Heck, they usually leak before tech testers even see them. No one really interested in Vista R2 -- excuse me, Windows 7 -- will go without.
  • I Declined My Invite

    I was still trying to find the social, too busy for Windows 7.
    • You weren't invited.

      and we all know it, but nice try.
      • Nice try?

        [i]and we all know it, but nice try[/i]

        Not really.
        you give him too much credit.
    • You're Lying...

      You were never invited to test Win 7. Give it up, Poser.
  • Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    The only reason for Win7 is to get us to forget Vista.I notice at my bank and local businesses people are running Win2K and XP....wonder why that is?
    • Why change something that is already doing its job...

      I agree, but partially company i work for don't want to upgrade is because they are scared of new stuff. Heaps of people got used to winXP and they would like to stay with it. Also getting vista would mean getting better hardware which then equals more money. Also the business i work for uses their computers to check their emails, word, excel etc. and they are happy with what they have now, so why change it?
      • Yes I agree with Leminig

        Windows Vista, with its all new looks and security is a pain in the neck. Compatibility issue, Security pop-up when trying to do even basic admin task.
        When my company bought new HP computers, I was asked to downgrade all to windows XP since it was a better option for the new high spec. HP system. Window XP is every computer users choice.I works fast on this new Dual core and quad cpu
        • MS is goin forced you to change XD

          Well, MS policy is sell you every year if is possible, even if you don't need the product, is going to forced you to buy the Win 7.
    • Behind the times..

      Probably because they are slow at upgrading to current technology.. They probably are running on p3's as well..