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Microsoft holding off on Windows 7 public beta

The company says it needs to add some more servers before making the code publicly available. Heavy demand on Friday was leading to site problems for Microsoft.

Microsoft has postponed, at least for a short time, making the beta of Windows 7 publicly available.

The move comes as Microsoft has struggled to keep its Windows 7 Web site up on Friday.

"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 the Microsoft.com properties before we post the public beta," Microsoft said in a blog posting, which was itself hard to get to as of 1:20 p.m. PST. "We want to ensure customers have the best possible experience when downloading the beta, and I'll be posting here again soon once the beta goes live. Stay tuned! We are excited that you are excited!"

Meanwhile, the company appears to have also pulled the code off a direct link that some were using to get the software on Friday.

The company has said it is aiming for several million testers of the beta version, the availability of which was announced Wednesday night by Steve Ballmer in his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show. Microsoft has been aiming to have the final version ready to be on PCs for this year's holiday shopping season, but Windows boss Bill Veghte said it is still too soon to say whether the company will make that time frame. Officially, Microsoft has promised that it will be out before the three-year anniversary of Vista's January 2007 mainstream launch.

Update, 1:55 p.m. PST: Tom Warren at Neowin.net says the direct link that it posted earlier Friday is still working.