back to article Microsoft's about turn: Windows 7 tech testers will get free copy of OS

Microsoft has taken a sharp about-turn and decided to let Windows 7 technical beta testers have a free copy of the Ultimate edition of the OS after all. The move follows plenty of grumbles from some guinea pigs that had been reviewing the technical beta for MS ahead of the operating system's planned general release on 22 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Bug Fix edition...

    How about a free copy for anyone plagued by Vista?

  2. Annihilator Silver badge

    Technet overlap

    How many of these elite invitation-only beta testers will already be Technet subscribers and merrily have downloaded the RTM code already? I'd take a guess at the majority of them.

  3. James Pickett
    Gates Horns

    Greed is good

    Has it never occurred to the suits at MS that a bit of generosity might actually pay off in good PR? Still, if Ballmer wants to be Gordon Gecko...

    (Please, a new icon for SB - a chair will do)

  4. Lee Dowling


    So good, they have to give it away?

    I understand that testers do a lot of work for you, but caving in like this seems ... desperate somehow. How many companies cave like that in similar situations? Very few. How many give their beta-testers anything at all? Even less.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ed Byrne

    I think it was Ed Byrne stated on Mock the Week how ridiculous it is that we take pleasure in someone "making a u-turn". As if admitting you're wrong and correcting your mistake is something to be ashamed of*. Far worse would be to carry on so as "not to lose face".

    *Sorry, I meant "of which to be ashamed".

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Second prize is....

    TWO copies of Windows 7 Ultimate....

  7. windywoo

    Woohoo free Windows

    Wish Apple would give me free Snow Leopard now.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "making a u-turn".

    "making a u-turn" should be a positive thing not negative!

    I hate the fact that a politician is criticised for "making a u-turn". We want people to be able to change their minds as their understanding evolves, as more evidence comes to light etc.

    Let's celebrate the u-turn as the sign of intelligent, free thinking that it is.

  9. Troy Peterson

    Woohoo fee Windows

    I wish Canonical would give me a free copy of Ubuntu now.

    oh, wait....

  10. Mike007

    invitation only?

    so only the MSDN subscribers that were invited for the initial betas who already have a subscription so already get it free? for a second there i thought they meant all beta testers, ie. the public beta testers who don't already get a free copy

  11. Doug Glass

    The Key

    Do you suppose the children will also get a free Key Code to go along with the free program? Or is that implied in the statement from MS?

    Oh what the hell. I tried it and I like Ubuntu 9.04 better. But 7 will sell like nobody's business and MS will turn a profit and God will stay in his Heaven and all will be right with the world.

    Where's the banana tag???

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Double sting!

    So as an owner of Vista Ultimate x64, and a win 7 public beta tester (who fed back multiple bugs and fixes), I get a big fat "f**k you"?

    Thanks a bunch!

  13. Mike Dyne


    Why didn't you just buy it at £45 then? That's as good as it was ever going to be. You're the fool if you missed the great deal.

  14. /dev/me
    Paris Hilton

    And that's... as in beer, and not free as in speech. Right?

    Those are always confusing :S

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    So that's

    everyone who ever bought ANY version of windows EVER. Put it on rapidshare, we'll do the rest

  16. cybersaur 1
    Gates Horns

    Vista pushed me to Ubuntu

    Because every computer I've ever touched that had Vista on it made me want to throw the damn thing out the window, I installed Ubuntu on my new home PC. Couldn't be happier.

    Because of the surprisingly fantastic experience I've had with Ubuntu 9.04, I'm considering moving our file room and file server to Ubuntu at work.

    Maybe M$ should consider giving those of us that have been pushed into the loving arms (flippers?) of a certain penguin a free copy of Windows 7. I'm done with M$ products at home otherwise.

  17. Martin 6 Silver badge

    No loss

    None of the beta testers were ever going to pay for a copy. All the employed ones would have it as part of some empower/msdn/bizspark membership, the independants would 'obtain' a copy by the normal means

  18. ash9.5
    Jobs Halo

    god bless us all everyone!

    When is the rug going to be pulled?

    has Ebeneezer Scrooge, oops I mean Mr. Softy, seen the light of Christmas present?

    I feel like Bob Cratchit's Tiny Tim

    god bless us all everyone!

    enjoy while you can


  19. lupine

    i'm almost ashamed to admit that...

    i installed the rtm build of windows 7 in a virtual machine (virtualbox 3) under debian 5.

    it actually runs quite well but is still a bit too vista-ish with commonly used features only able to be accessed through multiple menus and windows.

    i'll be sticking with me old mate lenny but if a friend or family member was considering buying it i'd not berate them all that much.

  20. Rob Beard


    As a public beta tester, I wasn't expecting much and I was actually really thinking about buying a copy of Windows 7 at £50 when it was available to pre-order but since that offer only lasted about 2 minutes I'm now thinking sod it, I'll just stick to Ubuntu and in the cases where I need Windows I'll just use the copy of XP I already have.


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck em ..

    What about a free upgrade for the Vista Ultimate buyers.

    Now thats something they need to think on !

  22. Anonymous Coward

    FREE ??

    WARNING !!

    NOTHING and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is free from MicroSoft!

    It will phone home and tell Bill what you were doing all day yesterday, and what your plans are for today. Then YOU can be TARGETED with 'appropriate' advertising. What a crock of shite !

    Debian is free and is a rock solid OS. BSD is free and has enterprise solidity. Other varieties of Linux offer various looks and feels, with something to suit pretty much everyone. Most are free.

    Under Linux and BSD, there are thousands of FREE software packages, including some seriously heavy stuff. Open Office does all that 95% of MS Office users require and it is COMPATIBLE! --- and its FREE! The Gimp does pretty much everything you need to do with Photoshop, unless you earn your living from photography --- even then, it is a powerful and reliable piece of software --- and its FREE! Linux dumped 8 bit and 16 bit stuff so long ago I have forgotten when, but MS hung onto all their old crappy drivers.

    Mostly I use Apple hardware these days. OS-X is based on BSD but there the similarity tends to end, other than for the solidity. I think OS-X costs about £80 to buy and unlike MicroCrap, there is only one version for everyone --- none of your 'HOME' , 'OEM', 'PRO', et. al., or put another way, they charge everyone £80, instead of making a range of prices to worry some into buying top of the range! At hundreds of pounds --- per seat !!

    I should qualify this slightly. Apple also produce a SERVER version which is also fabulous, but I don't know its price. FreeBSD is aimed at those who want a great server. PCBSD is the one if you are looking for a desktop machine.

    Is this garbled? Sorry, but no more than the choices out there !

  23. Dark_rain

    @AC Monday 3rd August 2009 11:33 GMT

    Quit preaching. Not everyones needs are met by Linux/Macs. Mine are (Linux). There's no point in telling people Windows sucks unless you can give them an alternative thats better at ALL the things that they want to do. Currently nothing does this and for this reason Microsoft are still in existance, as you might have noticed.

    I've never used a Mac server, but if you consider the point-of-view of an existing company they're about as comerically viable as burning down an uninsured building. The software might be cheap enough, but the hardware needed to run it ISN'T. At all. Imagine how hugely expensive it would be to replace all the servers AND workstations in one business. Unlike Windows Linux/UNIX there is no option for using existing hardware. This makes Apple (from what I've seen) a JOKE when it comes to business computing. Although I won't argue that they have their good points, as does anything.

    Moral of the story is: What works for one won't work for everyone.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    OS/X server? give me strength

    @AC, @Dark_rain, OS/X server is the most buggy, crappy, shiteware it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. [Oh wait; scrub that. I just remembered windows ME. Ok the second most...] And their server hardware pricing is clearly designed for those who don't know better (£200 for an ethernet card????).

    But then, I'm a happy Vista user. So I guess that makes me biased somehow.

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