Microsoft Sets Deadline For Windows 7 Beta

In a Friday blog post, Brandon LeBlanc, a communications manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, said testers who've already begun downloading the Windows 7 beta before Feb. 10 will have until Feb. 12 to complete it.

Microsoft has had a strong and largely positive response to the Windows 7 beta, something that LeBlanc and other Microsoft representatives haven't been shy about mentioning. But some solution providers said the groundswell of interest in Windows 7 is the result of users looking to wash away their bad Vista memories.

Steve Bohman, vice president of operations at Columbus Micro, said the user interface improvements in the Windows 7 beta will help relieve one of his customers' most common Vista-related headaches.

"The biggest complaint our customers had about Vista was that nothing [in the user interface] was where they expected it to be," said Bohman. "Microsoft shouldn't have moved things around just for the sake of change."

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Usability is clearly an area that Microsoft has focused on in the Windows 7 beta, but improvements can also be seen in overall system performance, according to Patrick DeRosier, CTO of CPU Guys.

Microsoft originally planned to offer the Windows 7 beta to the public from Jan. 9 to Jan. 24, and to limit the trial to 2.5 million downloads, but removed these limits due to the overwhelming response from the Windows 7-hungry masses.

Microsoft will also continue to offer product keys for users who've completed the Windows 7 beta after Feb. 12. TechNet and MSDN subscribers will be able to download the Windows 7 beta until the expiration of the testing period on Aug. 1.