Microsoft had shown appreciation to invited beta testers for Windows 7, as soon as it announced the time frame for RTM on July 22nd, with a thank you:
A special thank you to our beta testers is needed for their time and effort in helping make Windows 7 a solid release. The special pre-order offer we did offering Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional at almost 50% discount was done with our beta testers in mind. And many of you jumped at the chance to take advantage of this deal – thank you!
This made a lot of invited beta testers unhappy that they will be getting just a thank you unlike the last time, when Vista testers got a copy of Vista Ultimate for free when it RTM’d. Well, good news is that today, Microsoft changed its mind and has announced a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition for the invited beta testers (not the public beta testers).
To show our appreciation, members of the invitation-only Windows 7 Technical Beta Program will be eligible for a free, final copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. For more information on how to take advantage of this, refer to Paul’s post in the .Beta_Program newsgroup for details.
And here’s Paul’s post on the newsgroup:
Thank you for doing your part in making Windows 7 great! As a member of the technical beta program you took the time to download, install and give us your feedback on Windows 7 during development. Over the last 7 months you have participated in chats, live meetings and newsgroups as well as reported bugs to help us find and fix many issues. To recognize your outstanding contribution to the product we are pleased to offer you a complimentary copy of Windows 7 for your personal use.
- All current members of our English technical and international mini-beta programs are eligible.
- We are offering you a full (non-upgrade) copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition for your own personal use, not to be resold.
- You will be able to get access to your copy one of two ways:
A) To get up and running quickly you will be able to download your copy and get your product key via Microsoft Connect. English downloads will be available August 6th and other languages will follow as they become available.
B) Members of our English beta program have an alternative. We have reserved a limited amount of boxed retail copies that you can choose to receive instead. These are ‘first come, first served’. If you opt to have us ship you the boxed copy you should be aware that it will take much longer until you will be up and running on the final version. We will need time to manufacture and ship the copies to you. This means that you may not receive them until they are available on shelves October 22nd or later. Also, for people outside the United States you may be required to pay duties or other local taxes upon receipt.
Instructions and forms for choosing one of the above options will be available on Microsoft Connect on Monday August 3rd.
On behalf of the entire Windows product team, THANK YOU!
So, there you go. Microsoft has made all the invited testers for Windows 7 happy. Hopefully, the public would be happy with Windows 7 too when it becomes available to them on October 22nd.