Microsoft ditches Windows 7 beta download limit
It will be available through Jan. 24; company apologizes for Friday foul-up
Computerworld - Microsoft Corp. on Saturday ditched the download limit on Windows 7 beta, saying that users will be able to grab the preview through Jan. 24 -- even if the total exceeds the 2.5 million cap it had set earlier.
The company also apologized for the stalled servers that prevented users from obtaining the operating system preview on Friday, the day the public beta was originally slated to launch.
"I know many of you have had issues with the Windows 7 beta site over the last 24 hours," company spokesman Brandon LeBlanc acknowledged in a posting to Microsoft's Windows 7 blog late Saturday. "We apologize for the inconvenience that it caused some of you."
Rather than cap the number of beta activation keys at 2.5 million -- the original plan to limit the test pool -- Microsoft will instead make Windows 7 available for two weeks, though Jan. 24, said LeBlanc. If fewer than 2.5 million people request and receive activation keys during that time, Microsoft will continue to offer the beta until the limit is reached.
"However, the more likely scenario is that we will surpass 2.5 million downloads, and so the beta downloads will be stopped after the 24th," wrote Kevin Remdes, a Microsoft-employed IT evangelist, on his blog Sunday.
The move came after Microsoft fumbled the Windows 7 public beta launch on Friday. At midday, it postponed the beta, citing "very heavy traffic" and saying it needed to beef up its servers and bandwidth to meet demand. Earlier in the day, Microsoft's main page and other URLs had been brought to their knees by users eager to download the preview. Hours later, when a link to the download was added to a page dedicated to IT professionals, users saw only messages such as "Server is too busy," and, "This site is currently experiencing technical difficulties, please check back in the next business day" when they tried to grab the file.
Microsoft restarted the beta launch Saturday, posting links to the download on its main Windows 7 page.
Computerworld had no difficulty on Monday morning reaching the download page, receiving activation keys or initiating downloads of the 32- and 64-bit versions of the new operating system.
After Jan. 24, users will still probably be able to download the beta because Microsoft rarely removes previews from its servers, instead relying on activation-key limits to restrict the number of testers. People who grab the beta after Microsoft stops delivering keys can install the operating system, then run it under Microsoft's usual 30-day trial policy. By using the same "slmgr -rearm" command that gained notoriety after Windows Vista's debut, they can extend that trial period to a total of 120 days.
Microsoft's decision to put a time limit on Windows 7 beta's availability mimics its practice more than two years ago, when it launched Windows Vista Beta 2. That beta, launched June 7, 2006, was available for just over three weeks, through June 30.
Windows 7: Vista Reloaded
- Microsoft: Next step for Windows 7 is a release candidate
- How many flavors will Windows 7 come in?
- Preston Gralla: Let's vote for only three versions of Windows 7
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 beta is already better than Vista
- Microsoft ditches Windows 7 beta download limit
- Barbara Krasnoff: Will Windows 7 win back our hearts and minds?
- Review: Windows 7 Beta 1 shows off new task bar, more UI goodies
- FAQ: How to get the Windows 7 beta
Read more about Windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts