Acknowledging that its release of Windows 7 public beta (download) "was not ideal," Microsoft said it will suspend the software's 2.5 million download limit for a couple of weeks.
Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc announced the move in a company blog Saturday:
Due to an enormous surge in demand, the download experience was not ideal so we listened and took the necessary steps to ensure a good experience. We have clearly heard that many of you want to check out the Windows 7 Beta and, as a result, we have decided remove the initial 2.5 million limit on the public beta for the next two weeks (thru January 24th). During that time you will have access to the beta even if the download number exceeds the 2.5 million unit limit.
The company has said it is aiming for several million testers of the beta version, the availability of which was announced Wednesday night by Steve Ballmer in his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show. Microsoft has been aiming to have the final version ready to be on PCs for this year's holiday-shopping season, but Windows boss Bill Veghte said it is still too soon to say whether the company will make that time frame. Officially, Microsoft has promised that it will be out before the third anniversary of Vista's January 2007 mainstream launch.