Microsoft is targeting 2.5 million enthusiastic users who have enough technical knowledge to try and test the beta version of Windows 7. According to latest news however, Microsoft is lifting its 2.5 million-limit and has added new servers to accommodate the massive download demand.
It is best though to know some important download information before testing out the new Windows 7 on your computer. Here are the things you have to know before testing the OS.
First, the beta release only supports PCs running on Vista SP 1. This means you can only upgrade to Windows 7 if your current operating system is Vista Service Pack 1. There is a way to overcome this by partitioning your hard drive and installing Windows 7 in the partition.
Second, the Windows 7 beta download version is formatted into ISO image. This means you cannot directly install after the download. You need to burn the image first into a CD or DVD. So you must ensure that you have a CD/DVD writer or burner and the appropriate burning software before you take the trouble of downloading Windows 7.
Third, the license for the Beta version will expire on August 1, 2009. Before this date, you need to decide whether to buy the new operating system or not. If you are actively testing the OS, make it a point to report to Microsoft any bugs or issues that you can find.
Windows 7 is a beta version so there are risks of testing it on your PC. You need to back up your hard drives and make a restore point to protect your data and applications.