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Windows 7 first beta due January 2009

Christmas confusion clarified

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Microsoft has dashed hopes of a December release for Windows 7's first beta, having created initial confusion on this important code drop.

January 2009 now looks set to become the month when Windows testers will get their hands on the first-full pre-release build of Microsoft's next client operating system.

In particular, developers attending an MSDN road show on January 13 in Chicago, Illinois will get copies of the Windows 7 beta on DVD. This will be the first of eight such US road shows next year.

The clarification came as Microsoft apparently removed wording from one if its own sites that had promised delegates attending the events scheduled for next two weeks they'd get the Windows 7 beta. These attendees will now get their DVDs mailed to them.

Chicago delegates will "receive a Windows 7 Beta 1 DVD" - there's no mention of postal delivery.

MSDN Chicago

Attend and ye shall receive: Windows 7 Beta for Chicago road-show delegates

The beta will be the first full release of Windows 7 code and give people a better idea of what they can expect from Windows Vista's successor. Microsoft released code at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October, but this was an early build. The code didn't contain many of the features that senior vice president for Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live engineering group Steven Sinofsky demonstrated during his PDC keynote.

Developers we've spoken to during and since PDC have treated it accordingly. They've either reserved judgment on Windows 7 until they have a clearer picture of what's in the beta, as much of what they saw focused on the interface, or they've simply not installed the build. ®

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