Microsoft sent to a select group of testers on December 16 invitations to participate in Windows 7 Beta 1. Individuals who received the invites are considered “tech beta testers.” Microsoft declined to comment on when a public release of Beta 1 would occur. A spokesperson also declined to comment on how many folks will be part of the Windows 7 Beta 1 tech beta tester pool.
From the note Microsoft sent to the invitees:
“While (the Windows 7) beta will not be available until early 2009 we, know you are excited to get started so we have opened the microsoft.beta.win7.lobby (on the Microsoft Connect site) so you may begin renewing acquaintances with previous participants as well as meeting new testing peers. After accepting the invitation, you will be able to sign into Microsoft Connect and click on the ‘Windows 7 Beta Program’ link for more information on accessing the newsgroups.[…]