After demand began to slow its website and interfere with other services, Microsoft on Friday pulled the Windows 7 beta and postponed it indefinitely. Citing "very heavy traffic," it removed the download, but did not offer a new schedule for delivering the beta of its newest operating system, according to Macworld UK. The company on Wednesday announced it would provide a public beta of the next-generation Windows operating system, but said that it would cap the number of Windows 7 beta activation keys at 2.5 million; other users will be able to download the beta, but only run the software as a 30-day trial (though many have figured out how to extend the trial to 120 days using the "slmgr -rearm" command that was used for Windows Vista). Update: The official (direct) download links are available (32-bit, 64-bit) and the website is available (but very slow).
"Due to very heavy traffic we're seeing as a result of interest in the Windows 7 Beta, we are adding some additional infrastructure support to Microsoft.com properties before we post the public Beta today," a spokeswoman told Computerworld in response to questions about Microsoft.com's performance. "We want to ensure customers have the best possible experience when downloading the Beta."
Earlier this week, Microsoft confirmed that there would be at least three variants of the Windows 7 operating system, officially introduced last October: one for netbooks, one for consumers, and one for enterprise customers. The company also said it would remove the "sidebar"