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Microsoft kills off public availability of Windows 7 beta

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Microsoft has slammed the door shut on its Windows 7 beta download program, though anyone still keen to get their mitts on it can simply trundle along to Pirate Bay or similar for a copy.

The software giant put out a reminder late on Monday that those who wanted to play around with the beta, AKA build 7000, of its upcoming operating system had nearly run out of time to, at least officially, grab the download via Microsoft’s website.

However, those who began downloading the beta but haven’t yet completed the process were granted a little extension – they have until 9am PST on 12 February to finish the download.

Microsoft’s MSDN and TechNet developers will continue to have access to the code, but the public beta is no longer available, noted Redmond yesterday.

“If your download was interrupted, you can still finish it. And, you can still register for a product key or look up the key you've already gotten,” said MS on its Windows 7 download page.

The firm had originally put a limit of 2.5 million users for the public beta, but later offered unlimited downloads due to popular demand, only to then see its servers wilt under the pressure.

Meanwhile, alleged screenshots of what appears to be the latest build of Windows 7 have rocked up on the interwebs.

WinFuture.de is carrying screenshots that appear to show a 64-bit Enterprise edition of build 7032, which comes just days after build 7022 was leaked to torrent sites.

The Register asked Microsoft if, given the sudden abundance of new builds tipping up on torrent sites, customers can expect to see the release candidate of Windows 7 land as soon as April.

Unfortunately, at time of writing the company hadn’t responded to our request for comment. We’ll update you when it does.

Microsoft recently reiterated it would not bring out a second beta for Windows 7 but instead would move straight to the release candidate stage. A decision that once again fuelled speculation that Redmond was in a hurry to get the OS out to manufacturers and customers. ®

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