Microsoft cuts off Windows 7 beta

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Microsoft cuts off Windows 7 beta

Microsoft has ended the availability of the Windows 7 beta download.

The company cut off the supply of new downloads on Tuesday.

Users will be allowed to continue current downloads of the beta until 5PM GMT tomorrow, when all downloads will be cut off.

Members of Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet services will still be able to download the beta.

The decision to end the download program brings a conclusion to the month-long public beta period for its upcoming operating system release.

Originally slated for a limited test of 2.5 million users, strong demand for the beta convinced Microsoft to lift that limit and allow all users to download the Windows 7 beta.

Next up for Redmond will be constructing the first release candidate releases for Windows 7. Those builds will likely be among the last before Microsoft ships the final release versions of the operating system to developers and later consumers in the early months of 2010.

The company revealed last week just how users will be able to get Windows 7. As with Windows Vista, there will be separate business, home user and 'ultimate' bundles offered to most users. The company is also planning 'basic' and 'enterprise' variations for certain markets.

The conclusion of the public beta also comes just one week after Windows 7 saw its first high-profile security issue arise. The company agreed to change settings on the UAC security component following outcry from researchers who claimed that the protections could be disabled without user knowledge or permission.

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