January 7, 2009 9:38 pm

The Windows 7 Beta Kicks Off This Week

By / Senior Program Manager, Windows Insider Program

I would like to take a moment and share some exciting Windows news being announced tonight by Steve Ballmer during his keynote address in Las Vegas – kicking off the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show.

In October, we revealed the next version of our Windows operating system – Windows 7 – to software developers at PDC2008. And at WinHEC 2008 in early November, we showed Windows 7 to hardware developers. This week at CES marks the first unveiling of Windows 7 to the broad public. Windows 7 is designed with improved navigation and a streamlined UI (including the new enhanced Windows Taskbar) that puts commonly used resources within easy reach. People using Windows 7 will find everyday tasks on their PC are easier and faster. That includes sharing data to all your PCs and devices whether you’re at home or in the office. Windows 7 also builds on the substantial investments we’ve made in the fundamentals in Windows Vista to improve security, reliability and performance.

Tonight we are specifically announcing that Windows 7 has reached a very important milestone in its development cycle: the beta milestone. And starting this week, the Windows 7 Beta will be made available to Windows enthusiasts interested in beta testing – giving people a chance to check out Windows 7 for themselves.

As of tonight, MSDN and TechNet Subscribers will have access to the Windows 7 Beta. Starting January 9th – everyone else will be able to go to the Windows 7 page on Windows.com and download the Windows 7 Beta. The Windows 7 Beta will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. The Windows 7 Beta will be download-only – we will not be sending physical media out.

More details about downloading and installing the Windows 7 Beta are coming but for now you should check all the resources here – including screenshots, an interactive guide and the press release: www.microsoft.com/CES.

We are very excited for enthusiasts to get their hands on Windows 7 – we can’t wait for people to starting using Windows 7 and letting us know what they think!

And in completing the Windows experience with Windows Live – we are announcing tonight the final release of Windows Live Essentials – which will be available for download at download.live.com. We are also announcing two key partnerships tonight for Windows Live: Facebook and Dell. In the next few months, Facebook users will be able to share activities and updates from Facebook with their Windows Live network. And Dell will be pre-installing Windows Live Essentials on their consumer and small business PCs. Brian Hall, General Manager for Windows Live, has all the details over on the Windows Live Team Blog.

The Live Search Team is also announcing a partnership with Dell where they will distribute Live Search on a majority of consumer and small business PCs beginning in February. Click here for more from the Live Search Team.

In the meantime, if you want to see Windows 7 in action – check out these videos on Windows.com!

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