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Microsoft furthers closing date for Windows 7 beta download

Redmond, January 25: Thanks to the persistent interest in the preview of Windows 7 beta, Microsoft Corporation has extended the closing date for its download.

Microsoft’s decision indicates that less than 2.5 million copies of the beta have been downloaded ever since the company unveiled the Windows 7 preview on Jan. 10 this year.

Though formerly the company had put a restriction at 2.5 million on the Windows 7 download, but a shaky start coupled with the overloading of Microsoft’s servers compelled users to try downloading the preview.

Consequently, the company did away with the restriction and added that the beta would be offered till Jan. 24.

But late this Friday, Microsoft seemed to be having second thoughts about the issue.

In a post to the Windows 7 blog, Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft spokesman, wrote, “Because enthusiasm continues to be so high for the Windows 7 Beta and we don’t want anyone to miss out, we will keep the Beta downloads open through February 10.”

Unsure if the 2.5 million cap had been attained, LeBlanc observed, “We are at a point where we have more than enough beta testers...so we are beginning to plan the end of general availability of Windows 7 Beta.”

Declining to give any clue about whether the 2.5 million mark had be attained or even outdone, a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email, “I can say that interest has greatly exceeded our goals for the feedback we hoped to collect from testers.”

According to LeBlanc, availability of the Windows 7 beta download would be folded down in phases.

Feb. 10 is the date at the end of which the beta would be withdrawn from Microsoft’s servers. But for those who have already started the download by then, two more days till February 12 would be given to complete the entire process.

The Windows 7 beta download comes in the form of an interrupted download. Interruptions due to problems in Internet connectivity have no affect on the download. It can be continued later from the point where it was terminated.

Activation keys will be accessible without any let up for the customers who complete the disk image download prior to Feb. 12.

LeBlanc also said that TechNet and Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) subscribers would be allowed the beta download once the February deadlines for the general public are met.