Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNetsays that Steve Ballmer is expected to announce the official availability of the closed Windows 7 beta during his CES KEynote speech on Wednesday January 7th, along with Windows Server 2008 R2.
However, she also states that her sources are indicating that the Public beta will be announced at the same time, with the Server beta being available on 08/01/09 and Windows 7 public beta downloadable from 09/01/09!
This is excellent news-I really can’t wait to get my hands on the official, non-torrented Win7 beta and get my test on-whoo hoo!!!
It seems that Microsoft are pointing us towards a January 2009 release date for the Windows 7 beta, rather than December 2008 as originally thought.
**Update-it seems we have dates for when the beta will be available here.
According to the Register, MS have updated their sites to show that event attendees won’t receive a physical copy of the beta in their hands until an event on 13/01/09. If you’re at an event before then, you will get teh beta DVD mailed to you later.
Despite this, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley thinks we could be on for a December 17th release..who will be proved right? I’m very excited about getting my hands on a proper beta of Windows 7 so the sooner the better I say!
**Update** Yesterday (16/12/08) Microsoft sent invitations to select “beta tech testers” giving them early access to Windows 7 Beta 1. The note from MS contained the line “While (the Windows 7) beta will not be available until early 2009…” so a general release date in January is nearly confirmed.