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Microsoft Sets Deadline For Windows 7 Beta

Microsoft is giving the public more time to get their hands on the Windows 7 beta, in response to what the software giant said has been an overwhelming response to the OS.

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."

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.

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