Clock’s Ticking on Windows 7 Public Beta

Windows 7 beta, Microsoft

Microsoft’s Windows 7 beta test continues to chug along, although that train route is about to end for public testers.

Brandon LeBlanc, communications manager on the Windows client communications team, announced today that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) would take the beta down come February 10.

A newer build of the beta, build 7025, leaked to a Chinese tech Web site called, which posted a rather revealing screen shot of the installation process. One of the prompts asks the user which version of Windows 7 they wanted from a list of five: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate.

A spokesperson for Microsoft declined to comment on the screen shots.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) had originally planned to allow for 2.5 million downloads of the beta, but after there was so much interest in the beta that users overwhelmed and crashed the servers, Microsoft decided to open the spigot and allow for unlimited downloads.

As reported, Microsoft servers got quite a workout two weeks ago from potential testers as the company opened public beta testing of Windows 7 to a broad audience -– so much so that the company decided to delay the beta’s opening until it could bring more servers online.

“It’s starting to look almost like a land rush,” said Michael Cherry, operating system analyst at Directions on Microsoft. Whether it’s a land rush or a runaway train, the chance to download and test it is expected to end in about two weeks.

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