Microsoft shuts off Windows 7 beta downloads

But BitTorrent traffic in the preview remains brisk.

Microsoft has shut off the Windows 7 beta spigot, but will allow users who have started the download process to wrap it up by Thursday.

As promised more than two weeks ago, Microsoft blocked new downloads of the Windows 7 preview Tuesday. The site where users could formerly obtain the beta now reads: "Sorry, Windows 7 Beta downloads are no longer available."

Although Microsoft had said it would cut off users Tuesday, company spokesman Brandon LeBlanc had said last month only that on Feb. 10 "new downloads of the Windows 7 Beta will no longer be available." At the time, he did not specify an hour Tuesday when the downloads would be pulled.

Last night, about 70 minutes before the deadline expired, LeBlanc specified that midnight would be the end of new downloads .

Microsoft extended the deadline for Windows 7 beta from an earlier Jan. 24 cutoff to satisfy customer demand, it said over two weeks ago. However, the company has declined to say whether a 2.5 million cap it had once set had been reached or surpassed, nor would it specify how many copies it has provided users.

People who began to download the massive disk image file -- 2.44GB for the 32-bit version, 3.15GB for the 64-bit -- before Tuesday have until noon (EST) Thursday to complete the process, and activation keys will be available indefinitely, LeBlanc reiterated Monday.

The deadlines do not apply to subscribers to the TechNet and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) services. Those users, typically IT professionals and developers, will continue to have access to the beta. Microsoft has not said when it will offer an updated build of Windows 7 to the public, although the head of Windows development has announced that the company will move directly from the beta to a "release candidate" milestone. In the past, Microsoft has run through multiple public betas of its operating systems before taking the next step to release candidate.

Copies of the Windows 7 beta, and a leaked version of at least one post-beta build, were still available at file-sharing sites Tuesday. On the Pirate Bay BitTorrent tracking site, for example, traffic in Windows 7 remained brisk.

Windows 7 beta is set to expire Aug. 1, 2009, at which time users must either update to a newer version of the operating system, or reinstall an earlier edition of Windows, such as Vista or XP.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows 7windows 7 beta

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?