I get a lot of email about getting on the Windows 7 beta. Here’s the info from a Microsoft spokesperson:

“We are in the early stages of soliciting beta testers for Windows 7, but do not have any additional information to share at this time. For updates on the development of Windows 7, please visit the Engineering Windows 7 and Windows Team blogs for updates.”

Also of note is this letter, which is being sent to Windows 7 beta testers:

Please do not respond to this e-mail. This mailbox is not monitored. Please note: due to Microsoft security requirements, the hyperlink(s) contained in this e-mail may not automatically open your browser. If this happens, please copy and paste the link into the address bar of your browser.

The contents and messaging in this email are confidential and proprietary information of Microsoft Corporation. Recipients may not reproduce, store in or introduce into a retrieval system, or transmit in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), the information in this email for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation

Dear [First Name],

The Microsoft Windows® beta team would like to extend an invitation to you to participate in the Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 beta program planned for early 2009 as announced at the Professional Developers Conference Oct 2008. Accepting this invitation will allow you to access pre-release versions of the next version of Windows for the purpose of evaluating and providing feedback. We highly value your past feedback and know we can count on you again to help us build a great new version of Windows!

The beta version is not available quite yet but we need to assemble a great team of beta testers early so you are ready to go when we are! If you accept this invitation you’ll be notified when the beta version becomes available. In the meantime you can visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows7 and http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008R2 to learn more about what’s coming.

What you will get if you choose to participate

· Early access to downloadable beta copies of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

· Access to private newsgroups to discuss the beta with other testers and with Microsoft staff

· Access to various online events that will highlight new features and allow you to interact with the development team

· The ability to report bugs and track their status

· An opportunity to help us build a better Windows by assisting us in finding and fixing issues

What we will ask of you if you choose to participate

· We request that you download, burn to DVD and install Windows and/or Windows Server on at least one PC

· We ask that you actively participate in discussions on the newsgroups and share your opinions with us and others

· We also request that you file bugs if you encounter them as well as respond to surveys as you can.

· We may ask you to consider being a press reference or invite you to share your Windows 7 user experience with others

Things you should know about Windows 7 and the beta program

· The beta will be available in English, German, Japanese and Arabic. A language pack for Hindi will also be provided

· Availability will be via download only. No media will be provided so you’ll need a DVD burner to create installation media

· PCs that support and run Windows Vista should allow you to run Windows 7.

· Servers that support and run Windows Server 2008 should allow you to run Windows Server 2008 R2

· Participating in the beta does not necessarily mean you will receive a free final product.

· Participation is strictly voluntary but we ask that if you do accept this invitation you report bugs as you see them as well as actively participate in the newsgroups and other events.

· Spots are limited and from time to time we may remove inactive participants in order to make space available for others who are willing to actively provide feedback.

Accepting Your Invitation

To accept this invitation and become a member of this program, follow this link: .
If this link does not work for you, copy the full link and paste it into the Web browser address bar. You may be prompted to sign-in with your LiveID credentials.

Getting Started

While 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 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.

As well, to better understand our audience and how we are asking you to complete the following three surveys to tell us about yourself. Each survey has 20-40 questions and each should take you approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. You don’t have to take them all at once nor do you have to do it right now. We ask though that at some point you find time to complete them. As a thank-you for completing these prior to the end of the calendar year (Prior to January 1st, 2009) each participant who completes all three surveys (or indicates “already taken”) will be put into a drawing and five winners selected to receive some Windows 7 logo’ed toys!

Participant Survey Part 1 - http://connect.microsoft.com/Survey/Survey.aspx?SurveyID=7322&SiteID=488

Participant Survey Part 2 - http://connect.microsoft.com/Survey/Survey.aspx?SurveyID=7323&SiteID=488

Participant Survey Part 3 - http://connect.microsoft.com/Survey/Survey.aspx?SurveyID=7324&SiteID=488

The team would like to thank-you in advance for helping make this our best OS release to date and we look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Regards,

The Windows Customer Connection Team

If you do not wish to receive e-mail messages from this specific program, you need to "Decline Participation" on the Microsoft Connect My Participation page, since receiving program-specific e-mail is a mandatory part of your participation. If you do not wish to receive any e-mail messages from Microsoft Connect in the future, please send e-mail to mchelp@microsoft.com with the subject, "Remove Me From Microsoft Connect," and all your information will be completely removed from Microsoft Connect. If you need Microsoft Connect support for any other reason, visit the Microsoft Connect Contact Us page. This is an unmonitored e-mail address, so please do not reply to this message.