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Web site problems as Windows 7 beta hits

Users are reporting getting a variety of issues while trying to get to Microsoft's Windows Web site. The beta of Windows 7 is due to hit Friday.

Microsoft's Windows Web site will be the place to go to get the Windows 7 beta later on Friday. At the moment though, many users are encountering just error messages when they try to reach the site.

This was the message I got--"HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable." Is anyone out there getting through?

I have some calls in on this and will let you know what I hear back.

Microsoft's Bill Veghte said the company is aiming to have several million testers for the beta version. Microsoft has talked about having just a single beta of the product, followed by a release candidate version and then a final release. The company has been aiming to get it out this year, although Veghte said it could still come out either this year or early next year.

Update at 9:05 a.m. PST: Microsoft recommends going directly to this link.

Update at 9:25 a.m. PST: All the sites appear to be working for me, though the beta still isn't up, but should still go up later in the day, I am told.