Win7 Beta Extended to July, Vista SP2 Released

Dennis Faas's picture

Those who anxiously downloaded the Windows 7 beta will be able to enjoy their sneak-peek at the operating system for a month longer than expected. Despite an email to testers threatening to cut off the beta on June 1st, Microsoft last night announced it will remain untouched until July 1st.

From Beta to Release Candidate

In a post on the Windows 7 blog Tuesday, Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc explained that the email sent to beta testers threatening service shutdowns after June 1st was a mistake.

Although no explanation for the slip-up was provided, LeBlanc assured everyone that the beta will continue for a month longer than that. However, he did encourage users to move from the beta to the release candidate (RC) version of Windows 7, since the former's life is set to expire by August.

Windows 7: No Promises on Stability

For its part, Microsoft isn't guaranteeing a perfectly stable experience with either the beta or its more recent release candidate. As the final release of Windows 7 nears (Microsoft has promised copies on store shelves by Christmas), it's in the company's best interest to sell the marketable copy, not the free ones.

In fact, Microsoft is currently informing business users operating production machines to avoid downloading any of the prerelease software, which isn't guaranteed to work perfectly all of the time.

"You're Volunteering to be a Guinea Pig."

Michael Cherry, Microsoft's research VP for operating systems at Directions on Microsoft, says his company isn't about to tell people that the beta is, or ever has been, completely safe. "I don't have a lot of sympathy for someone who says they have a transition problem," Cherry remarked. "You're volunteering to be a guinea pig." (Source:

In other words, only try Windows 7 out on that backup computer you've stashed in the basement. And yes, that's unlikely given the demands of newer operating systems.

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Released

If you're not yet ready to make the leap to Windows 7, either in RC or final form, then perhaps you'll be encouraged to hear that Microsoft has released a second service pack for Vista (Service Pack 2), promising improvements to WiFi support, better RSS functionality, and increased power management efficiency. (Source:

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