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Windows 7 Available on Friday

Its official! Microsoft will release the first beta of its next desktop operating system, Windows 7 to the public starting Friday, January 9.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced during his first ever speech at the start of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the public beta of Windows 7 will be available for the pulic but will be limited to the first 2.5 million downloads. IT professionals and developers who subscribe to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) or TechNet services, however, have a privilege to download the beta now.

Windows 7 beta is almost “feature complete,” said Microsoft. Minimum system requirements for Windows 7 are the following:

Memory: 1GB
Disk Space: 16GB available disk space
Aero: DX9 capable graphics card with 128MB of memory

Initial system requirements may still change for the final version.

Users will be able to download an image DVD of Windows 7 Beta to be burned to a blank disc. After installing Windows 7, you have until August 1, 2009 by which the beta will automatically expire.

The Windows 7 download will be posted to Microsoft’s site on Friday, Jan. 9.

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