That's the message that Microsoft announced today on its Engineering Windows 7 blog, Cnet's Ina Fried reports.
While Microsoft says you can upgrade from Win7 Beta to RC when it becomes available, it prefers that you upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 RC. Why? As the E7 blog entry points out:
The RC...is about getting breadth coverage to validate the product in real-world scenarios. As a result, we want to encourage you to revert to a Vista image and upgrade or to do a clean install, rather than upgrade the existing Beta. We know that means reinstalling, recustomizing, reconfiguring, and so on. That is a real pain. The reality is that upgrading from one pre-release build to another is not a scenario we want to focus on because it is not something real-world customers will experience.
This reasoning makes sense from Redmond's standpoint, but since the same blog post acknowledges that millions of users (including, I bet, a lot of Maximumpc.com fans) are using Windows 7 Beta as their "full time" operating system, Microsoft has outlined a way to bypass the usual installer checks. Join us after the jump for the details.
Computerworldreports that HP will offer not only Windows 7 Professional and Home Premium SKUs on its netbooks, but also the stripped-down (three apps open at a time) Windows 7 Starter edition. Making Starter available in all markets is a departure for Microsoft, which has offered Windows XP and Windows Vista Starter editions only in developing countries.
As we reported earlier this month, Windows 7, unlike Windows Vista, is designed to run on everything from netbooks to the most powerful desktop and laptop PCs on the market. Although HP isn't the first company to announce it would be running Windows 7 on netbooks (ASUS beat them to the punch back in October), HP's decision provides more backing for Microsoft's claim that Windows 7 covers all the modern PC bases. So, how about you? What's the lowest-performance platform you've used for installing Windows 7 Beta? Were you satisfied with the performance, or not? Join us after the jump for your chance to share your Windows 7 Beta on netbook or low-end PC platforms war stories.
Microsoft has seen some pretty insane demand for its Windows 7 beta, so much so it couldn’t even keep it’s servers up. Once things finally leveled off Microsoft took the unusual step of removing its download cap of 2.5 million copies, and now they intend to extend the download period from January 24th to February 10th. Microsoft claims that it already has more than enough beta testers to meet its engineering needs, and they intend to prolong the availability of the beta merely to make sure everyone who wants to give it a try gets a chance.
Despite the fact that Microsoft intends to cease downloads on February 10th, those who already began the process will have until the 12th to grab the file off the official servers.For those of you hoping to activate copies of Windows 7 past this date, make sure you save your installation disk. Product keys will continue to be available well past the cutoff date, and activation servers will remain active.
MSDN and TechNet subscribers are unaffected by this announcement and will continue to have unfiltered access to the beta likely until the cut off date in August (though this has not yet been confirmed).
It's been over a week since the Windows 7 Beta was released to the public. You've read our initial impressions and even followed our guide to installing the OS using a USB key. So what now? Microsoft's post-Vista Windows experience is more than the obvious Taskbar and user interface updates; there are plenty of hidden features and shortcuts that haven't been advertised. But fear not: we've compiled a list of every known Windows 7 tweak and secret. Follow these 20 tricks to make the most out of this beta and become a Windows 7 power user.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends. The first iteration of Microsoft’s next operating system has arrived, and things are looking up for the Windows faithful. In fact, the first beta of Windows 7 is so reliable and responsive that it reminds us of the early Windows XP betas. With less than 12 months to go before launch, Windows 7 is in much better shape than Vista was at the same time, and it feels like a much more usable operating system than even XP did during its beta phase.
Windows 7 features a completely overhauled interface along with a host of new features. We give you a quick tour of what to expect.
Torrentfreak has lambasted Microsoft for not using torrents for the launch of the Windows 7 Beta. Microsoft faced serious bandwidth constraints and had to delay the launch of the Beta by a day. Although the criticism is impassioned coming from a blog about torrents, it is both sensible and plausible.
An official Torrent would have not only taken a lot of burden off Microsoft’s own servers, but it would have also offered great speeds as torrents speeds improve with traffic (the ratio between seeders and leechers is equally important, though). It is the same mistake that Microsoft made during the launch of the Vista Beta.
To much interest, Microsoft recently released their open beta for Windows 7. Heck, there was so much interest that it brought down even Microsoft’s servers! But while it was on us to bring down Microsoft’s servers, it’s on them to bring down our precious computers. Their weapon of choice? Why the blue screen of death, of course!
Thanks to the intrepid work of the crew at Gizmodo, they’ve run into the BSOD after a few days of messing around. Surprisingly it looks exactly as it has for a while, the simple blue background with the traditional white text.
What’s nice is that this BSOD provided the driver that was the culprit before it automatically restarted. But, it’s pointed out, that it’d be nice if it were to identify exactly what type of component (video, sound, USB, etc.) was to blame, for people that aren’t looking to learn how to read code.
Still though, we’re willing to let this one slide. It is a beta after all. And a public one at that! Aren’t all these crashes, in some convoluted way, the point of all this?
Have you been anticipating the public launch of Windows 7 beta? You're far from alone. At the Microsoft CES keynote two days ago, Steve Ballmer announced the upcoming OS would be made available in beta form to the general populace today, but the high demand temporarily knocked out both the Windows 7 download page and Microsoft's homepage, TGDaily reports.
Windows 7, which many are hoping will atone for Vista's sins, has gotten off to a rocky start in its pre-release form. MSDN and TechNet subscribers got first crack at the Windows 7 beta build 7000 yesterday, but some downloaders reported receiving errors when attempting to request product keys for the OS. But if the final product -- which Microsoft won't commit to a 2009 launch -- makes common complaints with Vista a thing of the past, most enthusiasts would agree it will be well worth the wait.
Protip: It might be in your best interest to snag a copy of Windows 7 beta and actively test the OS, even if beta testing really isn't your bag. Official beta testers who downloaded Vista back when it was in beta form and submitted at least one bug report ended up being rewarded with a free copy of Vista Business or Ultimate. That doesn't guarantee Microsoft will do the same with Windows 7, so decide for yourself is the risk is worth the potential worth reward.
Justin Kerr has posted an awesome mini-tutorial on how and where to get the Windows 7 beta up and running with a valid key. Check it out here.