Windows 7 testers to get free copy from tomorrow

Last week Microsoft had a change of heart and decided to go back on what they had previously said by offering testers on the Windows 7 technical beta program a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, in reward for their efforts in testing the new operating system.

Previously Microsoft revealed that testers would not be receiving Windows 7 for free and argued that the discounted pre-order offer, which was available to all consumers, was partly done for the benefit of beta testers. This was met with a bad response from bloggers and testers alike.

An email recently sent out to members of the invitation only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program confirms that they will be able to download a full copy of Windows 7 Ultimate from tomorrow (August 6th):

Thank you for doing your part in making Windows 7 great! As a member of the technical beta program you took the time to download, install and give us your feedback on Windows 7 during development. Over the last 7 months you have participated in chats, live meetings and newsgroups as well as reported bugs to help us find and fix many issues. To recognize your outstanding contribution to the product we are pleased to offer you a complimentary copy of Windows 7 for your personal use.

Details:

  • As a member of our technical beta program you are eligible.
  • We are offering you a full (non-upgrade) copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition for your own personal use, not to be resold.
  • You will be able to get access to your copy one of two ways:

    1. To get up and running quickly you will be able to download your copy and get your product key via Microsoft Connect. English downloads will be available August 6th. German, Japanese and Arabic will follow as they become available.
    2. As a member of our technical beta program you have an alternative. We have reserved a limited amount of boxed retail copies that you can choose to receive instead. These are 'first come, first served'. If you opt to have us ship you the boxed copy you should be aware that it will take much longer until you will be up and running on the final version. We will need time to manufacture and ship the copies to you. This means that you may not receive them until they are available on shelves October 22nd or later. Also, for people outside the United States you may be required to pay duties or other local taxes upon receipt.

Please visit [link removed] for instructions on the above selection.

On behalf of the entire Windows product team, THANK YOU

As previously announced, eligible MSDN and TechNet customers will also be able to get hold of the English version of Windows 7 RTM from tomorrow, with other languages following by October 1st. The same applies to ISV (independent software vendor) and IHV (independent hardware vendor) partners who will be able to download it from Microsoft Connect or MSDN tomorrow.

OEMs have already received the RTM code and Volume License with Software Assurance customers should be able to get Windows 7 RTM from the Volume License Service Center on August 7th with other languages coming a couple of weeks afterwards.

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61 Comments

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Testers deserve a free copy. I'd be interested to know how many free copy's Microsoft were trying to skinflint on?

I wouldn't want to test their software, even for the grand sum of a free copy on release. Life's too short testing buggy beta software, let alone the buggy final release (Chkdsk!)

If it weren't for testers, the retail copy for which you pay $200 would be full of issues many of which are security issues so when you decide to do some web banking and there is a flaw in the OS you may be compromised and could lose everything. In this case your life would be SHORTENED because you would have lost everything. Yes life is too short but if you think about it, testers ensure your life remains the same length. In fact, we may have SAVED your life :P.....if you think about it.

boho said,
Testers deserve a free copy. I'd be interested to know how many free copy's Microsoft were trying to skinflint on?

You appear to be assuming software is naturally free for beta testers. That's pretty rare.

For most people, the opportunity to help out, and get the newest thing first is enough of a reward.

4 Those Of You Who Are Not Getting Free Copies: I Found That http://www.newegg.com Is Selling Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade Edition 4 $219.99, With No Tax In 47 Out of The 50 States Here In The U.S.A., And Free 3 Day U.P.S. Shipping!

$219.99 is full price of the Ultimate Upgrade. Most don't need the features of Ultimate over, say, Professional, and those who do can find that price and deal just about anywhere. For that matter, if you're willing to pay tax wherever you are, you could probably go to your local computer store on October 22 and get it faster than that 3-day shipping for essentially the same price.

Read My Lips: I Am Getting Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade Edition (Which Will Not Be In U.S.A. Retail Stores By The Way), 4 $219.99 With No Tax, And Free 3 Day U.P.S. Shipping, Which I Need Anyways 2 Upgrade My Windows Vista Ultimate Edition Copy, As A Microsoft M.V.P. Said That Windows 7 Professional Edition Will Be Unable 2 Upgrade Windows Vista Ultimate Edition Copies, Just FYI.

Not 2 Mention The Fact That Our Illinois State Legislature Is Currently Debating Passing A State Sales Tax Increase, Just FYI.

Also There Is Only $20 Dollars Price Difference Between Windows 7 Professional Edition And Windows 7 Ultimate Edition, And Unlike Most People, I Actually Find The Bit Locker To Go Feature In Windows 7 Ultimate Edition Very Use Full, Just FYI.

Do you really have to capitalize every word? It's quite hard to read.

Anyway, only $20 more than professional is pretty good.

Not looking forward to wipe and install from scratch.
I have faith that someone will come up with a hack to upgrade in place before my RC wears out.

Is this for the Tech program called "Windows Ecosystems" for Beta testing Win7 or what? Because that's the only one I was invited to.

Warboy said,
Is this for the Tech program called "Windows Ecosystems" for Beta testing Win7 or what? Because that's the only one I was invited to.

No...it only was for the actual tech beta that was on MS Connect. Again if you didn't access it via MS Connect, download the builds via MS connect, or have access to the private newsgroups, or get the email then you will not be able to download this.

I would suggest logging into your technet, msdn, connect site now and have it save your password. I remember the last time, the issue wasn't the download servers so much as it was the authentication servers being inadequate thus preventing people from logging in.

So if you just participated in the Public Beta release and the Public RC release, then you don't qualify for the free retail copy? Lame... I submitted 3 whole bug reports to them. The least they could do is give me a $300 piece of software for free.

Shadrack said,
So if you just participated in the Public Beta release and the Public RC release, then you don't qualify for the free retail copy? Lame... I submitted 3 whole bug reports to them. The least they could do is give me a $300 piece of software for free.

There were quite literally hundreds of thousands of public beta testers... some of the connect testers submitted hundreds of bugs and participated in live meetings to help track down bugs and features. There is a big difference.

The least you could do is pay $300 for a piece of software they spent years and hundreds of millions of R&D on.

omni said,
There were quite literally hundreds of thousands of public beta testers... some of the connect testers submitted hundreds of bugs and participated in live meetings to help track down bugs and features. There is a big difference.

The least you could do is pay $300 for a piece of software they spent years and hundreds of millions of R&D on.

Actually the LEAST he could do is ditch Windows altogether and maybe go Linux.

Not what I would do, but it IS the least he could do.

The least they could do is give me a $300 piece of software for free.

I thought that this was oozing with sarcasm. Either my delivery is off or your interpretation skills suck, lol. I'll wrap things in [sarcasm] blocks next time.

I will hold my breathe for the physical copy. The last time I selected non-physical means with Vista, they left the download open for only seven days and I didn't get a chance to get it. Then they pulled the keys off the site. It was a disaster that took weeks to get Paul Donnelly to fix for me. I'm willing to wait till October.

Also, I'm pretty sure that by the time the servers are no longer hammered and back to optimum will be somewhere around September anyway

abtm said,
I will hold my breathe for the physical copy. The last time I selected non-physical means with Vista, they left the download open for only seven days and I didn't get a chance to get it. Then they pulled the keys off the site. It was a disaster that took weeks to get Paul Donnelly to fix for me. I'm willing to wait till October.

Also, I'm pretty sure that by the time the servers are no longer hammered and back to optimum will be somewhere around September anyway :)



7 days? psh it was up for over a month! I know it was, I remmeber looking way after they said they would pull it and it was still there....

briangw said,
I'm looking forward to my MSDNAA copy tomorrow! Woo hoo!!!!
You won't get it. Brandon posted that MSDNAA will get RTM bits on the 14th of this month. The wait continues...

vanx said,
You won't get it. Brandon posted that MSDNAA will get RTM bits on the 14th of this month. The wait continues...


hmmm. I noticed that the news article for MSDNAA students was removed. Oh well, there's always my work's MSDN subscription!

deep1234 said,
so guys, If I am one of the Win 7 Beta testers. I am in the list?

Were you a tech beta tester that was invited to participate on MS connect or one of the public testers? Did you get access to the private newgroups? Did you download the 2 official builds from connect? Did you receive the email thanking you for your contribution and allowing you to download the free copy.

If none of those apply to you then you probably are not on the list. Sorry

Nice! One less machine I have to buy Windows for! :-) Just one thing, since this is a retail license, I can only use it on 1 machine right? Wish it was like Technet licenses which allow 10 machines with 1 key. Oh well, will just have to pony up for few more licenses for business. :-(

techbeck said,
Today is August 5th, :)

Kinda depends where you are - for some of us it's been the 6th for a few hours..

dangel said,
Kinda depends where you are - for some of us it's been the 6th for a few hours..

Do you have a technet account? Does it show up yet where you are?

Just curious.

techbeck said,
Do you have a technet account? Does it show up yet where you are?

Just curious.

Very much doubt it. It will Aug 6th probably around early afternoon Redmond time.
Right now I would assume their adding more servers to their MSDN/Technet etc. sites to try to cover the onslought their no doubt likely to get.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,

Very much doubt it. It will Aug 6th probably around early afternoon Redmond time.
Right now I would assume their adding more servers to their MSDN/Technet etc. sites to try to cover the onslought their no doubt likely to get.

Thats cool. I am on the same timezone so I will keep checking.

Thanks,

I hope I get to receive the hard copy, otherwise MS said if I did not qualify to the limited copies of the hard copy I will be provided with the download link...

Hard copied will be delivered starting October 22, 2009...

Soft copies are available starting today, Aug. 6, 2009....

I did the same, however I'm wondering if we do not qualify for the hard copy will they notify us now and let us download the soft copy tomorrow or will we need to wait till Oct 22? 'cause if that's the case that sucks lol.

Ely said,
I did the same, however I'm wondering if we do not qualify for the hard copy will they notify us now and let us download the soft copy tomorrow or will we need to wait till Oct 22? 'cause if that's the case that sucks lol.

You'll get notified immediately. No need to wait for Oct 22 for the download link...

"To recognize your outstanding contribution"

There is a guy at work who was an invited tester for windows 7 and all he did was submit 1 bug that had been submitted by several other people before. also he didnt partake in any of the live meetings or newsgroups

even if some one does get an invite to a beta program like this one. their should be a set requirement before you can be considered for a gift.

techbeck said,
Technet release is tomorrow to, correct?


Yup technet gets released tommorrow also. I am looking foward to it and not. It means i have to reinstall all my software AGAIN lol.

Gets me used to the install because when oct 22 rolls around i will have 28 machines to install windows 7 on .

majortom1981 said,
Yup technet gets released tommorrow also. I am looking foward to it and not. It means i have to reinstall all my software AGAIN lol.

Gets me used to the install because when oct 22 rolls around i will have 28 machines to install windows 7 on .

Cool, will DL it tomorrow then. At least the Business version for my laptop at work. Need to test before we start deploying. I have the reinstalls down so well that it doesnt take me long to setup everything. need to backup some files tonight tho.

any idea what time in the diff time zones it will be on technet tomorrow?

majortom1981 said,
Yup technet gets released tommorrow also. I am looking foward to it and not. It means i have to reinstall all my software AGAIN lol.

Gets me used to the install because when oct 22 rolls around i will have 28 machines to install windows 7 on .

28 machines managed by what?

I feel really sorry for the organisations that have to deal with sysops like this. Very stringent testing and pilot programs are a staple of the systems administration industry..

omni said,

28 machines managed by what?

I feel really sorry for the organisations that have to deal with sysops like this. Very stringent testing and pilot programs are a staple of the systems administration industry..

Why would you feel sorry for a organization that wants to roll out Windows 7 during GA? They have Beta, RC, and TechNET for a reason. I am another admin who will begin deployment around the 22nd for my 45 workstations. Why? Because we run Vista just fine now, and sine Beta I've been running 7 full time testing for issues they would run into. Its what a admin does. So making a claim that anyone rolling out 7 or starting a rollout on the 22nd of October to their doesn't know what their doing is beyond absurd. I know what I'm doing as does the gentleman who made that statement. MY users are excited about new technology and software because I teach them about it. Do you?

omni said,
I feel really sorry for the organisations that have to deal with sysops like this. Very stringent testing and pilot programs are a staple of the systems administration industry..

Bit harsh, dude.

28 PCs suggests it's not a huge business, and would be entirely capable of checking the various requirements by Oct 22nd.

Is this like MSDN people or what? I have a connect account and have had one for 2-3 years and wasn't offered the Win 7 technical beta.

Mystic said,
Is this like MSDN people or what? I have a connect account and have had one for 2-3 years and wasn't offered the Win 7 technical beta.

Just having a connect account doesnt automatically get you into betas. When they need more testers, they pick them from the pool of available people on connect based on a set of criteria that only Microsoft know.