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Microsoft Reverses Its Decision, Will Give Free Windows 7 Ultimate Copy to Some Beta Testers

July 30, 2009

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.

The “full-package” version of Windows 7 Ultimate will retail for $319.99, while the upgrade edition will be priced at $219.99.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2009 10:17 PM

    If the dipstick bean counters at MicroSoft would make a $49.99 XP or Vista upgrade {home version} available on line for down loading they would in the end make a lot more money. I for one will not pay $220.00 or more dollars to upgrade. My old XP does what I want and need it to do.

    In 2 or 3 or if I’m lucky 4 years when this computer dies or is so obsolete to no longer be usable I will buy a new desktop computer or maybe a laptop or netbook preloaded with Microsofts latest and greatest OS for 2 or 3 hundred dollars!

    I am not a business, 95% of my computer use is surfing the world wide web. I do not need High res graphics, faster than the speed of light CPU. I don’t need or use MS Office or it’s business related software.

  2. December 3, 2009 2:06 AM

    i’ve already using windows 7 professional, so far i think this is the best operating system now, awesome 😀

    • December 3, 2009 11:50 PM

      I agree, Windows 7 is really something. I thank you for commenting!

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