Saturday, January 10, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Has Arrived – But Not For Everyone

The Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 beta versions were released this week. I got the ISOs myself during the week, and finished off today loading R2, Win7 Ultimate and WIn7 Home Premium as VMware virtual machines. But it looks like Microsoft has totally underestimated the demand. In a blog post over on The Windows Blog, Brandon LeBlanc explains that they are delaying the introduction of the public beta. They are adding extra infrastructure to cope with the demand. Another blog post, Windows 7 Beta Downloads Will be Available Soon - Microsoft's Servers Already Can't Handle Demand, Frederic Lardinois gives more detail.

I guess it was inevitable that Win7 would be popular once it was officially released. The beta had already leaked out, and at one point the torrents had thousands of folks downloading. Looking at The Pirate Bay, the Win 7 torrent (“directly from Microsoft”) today has 1700 lechers. It should have been obvious that this was going to be popular. Of course, these problems just make great press stories, and stoke the enthusiasm of the industry. Perhaps Microsoft should have considered deploying Bit-Torrent to enable the download?

Irrespective of Microsoft’s infrastructure woes, Win7 and Server 2008 R2 look like real winners. Win 7 looks really good, although thus far, I’m only running it in a VM. And Server 20087 R2 also looks pretty good! For me the biggest feature of both, thus far, is the inclusion of PowerShell into the OS. As I’m running these betas in VMware, I am not yet getting the benefit of the updates to the Aero UI – my new laptop comes very soon and I’m really looking forward to running Win7 natively.

If you have Windows 7 and/or Windows Server 2008 R2 betas, be sure to check out PowerShell V2. The OS betas incorporate what is more or less PowerShell CTP3 beta (which itself was released just before Christmas). This new version has some pretty exciting new features – I’ve been blogging about these ever since I got the beta. The version of PowerShell that is contained in the OS betas is just slightly earlier than the released PowerShell CTP3. But there should be no real difference in functionality (aside from having a few less bugs in the full CTP3). While remoting and eventing are pretty cool technology, the module functionality, including Auto-Help, are awesome.

So if you don’t have the WIn7, or R2, betas yet – be patient. The infrastructure will soon be in place. I suspect most users will feel the wait is worth while. Hopefully, their reaction will be a little more positive than xkcd’s.


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