Barmy Steve Ballmer, sometime monkey dancer and full time Microsoft top dog now that Bill Gates has gone, has surprised us all by informing the world that January 13th will not be Windows 7 day as predicted. The good news is that Windows 7 day will be on the 9th January instead.

Yes, Ballmer has confirmed that an almost feature complete Beta version of Windows 7 will be made available for public download for the first time tomorrow. Talking during his keynote address at the opening of CES in Las Vegas, Ballmer revealed that software developers can get their hands on the Windows 7 Beta immediately, while the general public would only have to wait an additional couple of days.

You had better hurry if you want a copy though, as Microsoft will almost certainly restrict the total number of downloads available in this fashion.

Which is not great news, considering that tens of thousands of people have been downloading Build 7000, a pirated version of Windows 7 that many security experts have warned could be a ticking time bomb, during the last week or so. If the official Beta gets closed down too quickly, people will surely turn back to the dodgy Torrent version instead.

Ballmer, however, promises that Windows 7 will help to re-define how we think about Windows. Although to be fair, I seem to recall Microsoft saying pretty much the same about Vista and I am not sure that one worked out too well.

If you want to give it a try yourself then you will need to be equipped with a PC containing a 1 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, 128MB of DX9 supporting graphics and at least 16GB drive space.

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

I have spare HDD, so I may give it a go...

Links if anybody interested

Download: Windows 7 x86 (32bit) and x64 (64 bit)

what are the requirements for this ?

Er, as it says in the piece: "If you want to give it a try yourself then you will need to be equipped with a PC containing a 1 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, 128MB of DX9 supporting graphics and at least 16GB drive space."

It runs ok with 512MB ram, I've got this running on a PC no problem with only 1/2 a GB :