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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 19, 2008 at 10:19 AM

UPDATED: Windows 7 Beta coming soon?

Windows 7 beta link.JPG

A new link on Microsoft’s Windows 7 home page has set off another round of speculation about when the company plans to release a more complete test version of its forthcoming operating system, and, by extension, whether Windows 7 would be released in time for the 2009 holidays, as some have speculated.

(Update, 2:35 p.m.: The link has disappeared. I’ve asked Microsoft’s PR firm for an explanation. … Looks like the posting was in error. Via a company spokeswoman at 2:43 p.m.: “As we said at PDC, we expect to deliver beta in early 2009 and we continue to be on track to deliver against that development milestone.”)

The “Download the Windows 7 Beta” link appeared earlier today — according to Neowin, which appears to have spotted it first — but the link doesn’t lead to anything of the sort as of mid-morning.

Neowin’s Tom Warren notes that Microsoft could be revving up its servers right now to deliver a test version of Windows 7 before Christmas — even if that was the plan, I wonder if the winter weather that’s keeping much of Seattle and Redmond at home put a wrench in the works. (Officially, the company is open today, although the Connector shuttle service is not, and employees are told to use their best judgment about coming in, a spokeswoman said via e-mail.)

Mary Jo Foley reported yesterday on rumors that Microsoft completed an internal sign-off on Windows 7 Beta a week ago, and that some testers were expecting a pre-Christmas release, at least to a select group.

Warren also points out that “[i]t’s entirely possible that once the page is live it will simply be a sign up page to register your interest.” That’s what Windows expert Ed Bott thinks.

Microsoft’s official schedule is a public beta in early 2009 en route to public availability of Windows 7 no later than January 2010. CEO Steve Ballmer takes center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 7, and many are expecting a consumer-focused unveiling of the new operating system.

Hat-tip to TechFlash on this story.

Comments | More in Windows 7

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