Beta testers limited to 2.5million

Microsoft is due to put the first Beta version of its Windows 7 operating system up for public download today. Software developers were granted access to the beta on January 7, however Microsoft has said that it will be releasing a public version at some point “during the afternoon” of January 9 (today). For UK hopefuls that translates to some point during the late evening or possibly even overnight.

Given that Microsoft haven’t given a more specific release time, coupled with the fact that the public trial version is limited to 2.5million downloads, it all but guarantees that Microsoft’s servers will remain swamped for the remainder of the day. At the time of writing we were able to reach the Windows 7 page after a long wait, although there was still no sign of the download link.

So what’s in Windows 7 that might be of specific interest to photographers? Or not as the case may be. Well, the Windows Photo Gallery basic photo editing and sharing application that shipped automatically with Vista has been stripped out of Windows 7, although users still have the option to download it through the Windows Live service.
Early reaction to the Beta is mostly positive, with many industry commentators already noting a performance boost over Vista.

To download the beta head to the official Windows 7 website.