's how to get your Windows 7 beta key

Update: Microsoft has now re-opened the beta officially at this link.

Thanks to our ever wonderful forum posters who are currently discussing the Windows 7 beta and Helmers Blog we now know a method of acquiring an official Windows 7 beta key.

We have posted direct links to the downloads earlier today:

Download: Windows 7 x86 (32bit) and x64 (64 bit) If you have issues with the direct links try via the Akamai Java download manager 32bit and 64bit, you will need to copy and paste the links into a new window otherwise you'll get redirected to the Windows 7 home page.

Here's the steps for a key:

  1. Visit TechNet Downloads, sign in at the top right and let the page load
  2. Within the same window copy and paste "" into the address bar or "" (64bit key but will work on 32 too, if you get an error refresh a few times)...enjoy the result below (32 bit link seems to work better), whilst stocks last. If you are still having issues try clearing your temp files and deleting all cookies.
Update: Neowin member drewh suggests using check4change Firefox addon too, you can find his method here.

According to Microsoft there are 2.5 million keys to go around worldwide so plenty in other words. Microsoft is also providing a QFE patch for the MP3 corruption issues that have plagued build 7000, this should be online shortly as KB961367. It's extremely important you apply this patch as you may lose parts of your MP3s if the patch is not applied. 32bit and 64bit patches are now available.

If you're interested in Windows 7 features then check out our overviews:

Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more focus items on Windows 7 including Touch, Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7 networking and media enhancements. Stay tuned for the ultimate Windows 7 focus from

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