Microsoft flip-flops, will give free Windows 7 to some beta testers

Invite-only Technical Beta testers will get 'Ultimate' version

Microsoft made a U-turn today and announced that it would hand out free copies of Windows 7 Ultimate to the initiation-only testers who received the very earliest builds of the OS last year.

"To show our appreciation, members of the invitation-only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program will be eligible for a free, final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate," said Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc in a post to a company blog. Just last week, LeBlanc had categorically said that no testers would receive a copy gratis.

Users who downloaded the public beta or release candidate, however, are not eligible for the thank you.

"If you were invited to join the Windows Technical Beta Program, you are eligible to receive a free final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate," added Anthony Mann, the Microsoft employee who manages the Windows forums on TechNet. "If you were not sent an invitation to participate, this offer does not apply to you."

Microsoft kicked off the Technical Beta Program last September, when it started taking applications on its Connect site, a clearinghouse for all its beta programs.

Today, Microsoft declined to disclose the number of testers who will receive the free copy of Windows 7, citing company policy regarding Technical Betas.

Windows 7 is slated for public release Oct. 22, but subscribers to the for-pay TechNet and MSDN services will be able to download the final code, along with legitimate product activation keys, starting next Thursday.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftWindows 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?