Now, on January 10th (US time, Jan 11 for us here in Australia), downloads have been switched on again from Microsoft’s official Windows 7 site.
Actually, anyone that wanted to download Windows 7 yesterday could have done so – they just needed to know where the direct download links were located, something many sites include iTWire disclosed yesterday.
Thus “those in the know” were able to get their copies of either the 32-bit or 64-bit versions easily enough, while holding back the greater flood of demand while additional servers and download capacity was added.
Clearly that additional capacity has now come online, with the official “Download the Windows 7 beta” link at the Windows 7 site now fully active.
Microsoft has posted instructions on what you need to do and know to get the beta installed on your computer.
Microsoft notes that both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 are delivered to users as an ISO file. An ISO file is an “image” of a CD, or in this case, a DVD.
This file needs to be extracted by DVD burning software and burned to a DVD, not as the ISO file itself, but extracted as all the individual files.
To do this, you need to either extract the contents of the .ISO file using Win-RAR, which essentially “unzips” the ISO file to a folder on your hard drive, or you can do it by using free software such as DeepBurner or ImgBurn.
DeepBurner is free CD/DVD burning software for Windows PCs and is handy especially if you don’t want to buy Nero or other similar software, although DeepBurner also offers a paid “Pro” version. ImgBurn is similar software and as noted it’s also free.
Microsoft notes that [Windows 7] “can be glitchy – so don’t use a PC you need every day”, however millions are ignoring that and using Windows 7 beta 1 as their primary operating systems. It’s certainly something I’m doing – XP and Vista are now but memories.
So, what are the minimum specs, and are they really the minimum? Please read on to page 2.