Windows 7 beta in January?

A Microsoft developer blog makes it appear as if the test version is slated for January.

Windows enthusiasts were buzzing on Tuesday over a Microsoft blog posting that makes it seem as if a beta version of Windows 7 should be ready by next month.

In a blog posting on Microsoft's Technet site, Keith Combs suggests those wanting to get their hands on the beta version should register to attend one of a dozen or so upcoming MSDN developer conferences.

That blog, and another Microsoft blog, make it clear that attendees will get a DVD with Windows 7 beta 1 on it. Some of the events are in December and the bloggers make it clear that those attending the earliest events won't get their DVD at the conference. In the comments section of his blog, though, Combs said the DVDs should be ready by mid-January.

"My understanding is that the DVD will not be ready for the first few show dates but will be mailed to each attendee," Combs said. "We are targeting to have the DVDs in the materials from 1/13/2009 on."

Microsoft handed out a pre-beta version of Windows 7 to attendees at the Professional Developer Conference in late October and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in early November.

In a statement late Tuesday, Microsoft said only that it is still targeting early 2009 for the broader beta.

"As we said at the PDC, we expect to deliver beta 1 in early 2009 and we continue to be on track to deliver against that development milestone," Microsoft said.