Windows 7 public beta test version available from Microsoft

Steve Balmer, CEO of Microsoft, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that a beta test version of Windows 7 is available for download by the public. Caveats:

1. Once the Windows 7 file (a DVD image with filename extension of .ISO) is downloaded, you’ll need to burn a setup DVD;
2. This installs as an upgrade to any edition of Windows Vista, Service Pack 1;
3. This beta test version expires August 1, 2009;
4. If you’re interested, download it now. Microsoft will allow only 2.5 million downloads.
To read details, click here.
If you’re disappointed with your copy of Vista, back up your data and give this beta a try. It’s interesting that this beta version allows users of (the lame) Home Basic edition of Vista to, at least temporarily, receive the additional features of Vista Ultimate, just by installing this beta test version.
One wag observes that Microsoft’s assertion that Windows 7 improves Windows Vista is equivalent to Ford announcing the new improved Edsel 2.
This is the first time in years that Bill Gates didn’t deliver the keynote speech at CES.
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