Microsoft has changed its mind and decided to give Windows 7 away to its faithful testers.
In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has changed its mind and decided to give participants of the “Windows 7 Beta Program” a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate after all, according to the Windows 7Ã‚Â Team Blog: “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. For more information on how to take advantage of this, refer to Paul’s post in the .Beta_Program newsgroup for details.” The date in question is August 6, the same day MSDN and TechNet subscribers get the RTM build.
It should be emphasized that this offer isn’t available to those who tested the beta and RC build when they were released to the public. This offer is only for testers that were invited into the beta program.
Here is the message on the newsgroup:
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.
* All current members of our English technical and international mini-beta programs 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:
A) 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 and other languages will follow as they become available.
B) Members of our English beta program 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.
Instructions and forms for choosing one of the above options will be available on Microsoft Connect on Monday August 3rd.
On behalf of the entire Windows product team, THANK YOU!
Last week, when Microsoft announced that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 had hit the RTM milestone, the company confirmed that its faithful testers won’t be getting a free copy of Windows 7, in contrast to Windows Vista testers who received the Ultimate edition for sending in at least one bug. Many testers reacted in anger and unhappiness, even though Microsoft said this could be the case back in December 2008 when the beta program began. Nevertheless, everything ended happily after.