Steve Ballmer announces availability of Windows 7 beta

In his keynote address at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer announced the availability of a beta version of Windows 7. If you have an MSDN subscription or are a member of TechNet, you can download the Windows 7 beta right now. Presumably, there will be another area on the Microsoft site where the general public can download it later this month.

Yours truly recently predicted that a fully tested Windows 7 operating system would not be released until the fourth quarter of 2010. Apparently, Microsoft is gearing up for a release date about one year earlier than that. I am still skeptical that they will make it by the end of 2009, but I will download the beta and see what is what.

If you try the Windows 7 beta, jump in the TechRepublic forums to let us know what you think.

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.