Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, announced at CES that Windows 7 will see its public debut on Friday 9th January. Microsoft is currently readying the beta for MSDN and TechNet subscribers and this will be available during Thursday 8th January (or sooner).
It's fully confirmed that the beta 1 build will be 7000 that leaked shortly after Christmas. Our members have been discussing the various leaks and Windows 7 availability all day in one of our more popular forum threads. According to sources close to Microsoft, the company is significantly further on from build 7000 and it's understood that the development has branched from 7003 onwards ready for the RC/RTM stages. Microsoft is also providing a QFE patch for the MP3 corruption issues that have plagued build 7000, this should be online shortly as KB961367 for those with official access.
We first unveiled the PDC build here at Neowin in October 2008. During the next few weeks we will be looking at individual features of Windows 7 compared to its predecessor, Windows Vista. So far we have the following overviews for you to check out: