PC users 'warned off Windows 7 beta'Windows 7 beta is best left to PC enthusiasts
13 January 2009
Computer users were warned off downloading a test version of the latest Windows release today, as millions more copies could be accessed in the coming days.
A surge in demand led the firm to suspend a 2.5 million limit on the number of copies available until January 24.
Windows 7 beta download
But today the firm stressed the product is only aimed at computer experts. Microsoft offers no technical support to those testing the product.
Laurence Painell, a product manager for Microsoft, said the company had been 'genuinely surprised' at the number of users wanting to test Windows 7 Beta.
But he added: 'We don't recommend that if you've got one PC at home and you're an average consumer that you install a beta product because it's unfinished. It can have bugs and issues with it.'
Which? computing expert John Bogue said the average PC user 'should not go near it'.
Windows 7 expert advice
'Microsoft makes it quite clear there's no point if you're not completely self-sufficient with computers,' he said.
'You shouldn't go near it otherwise, because anything beta by definition is not a complete product. It's a testing product and it could crash any machine at any time.
'There's no guarantees with a beta, it could completely ruin your computer.
'It's only for the enthusiasts who have a spare computer to install it on. You wouldn't ever install it on your main machine.'
Windows 7 release date
The release is a routine way for Microsoft to test a new product, so users can report any glitches before mainstream release.
A final version of Windows 7 should go on sale before January 2010.
The company says it is designed to make everyday tasks easier and to allow better access to entertainment content such as music and films.
© Press Association 2009
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml. Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds
Sign up to the Which? weekly technology email
Keep your finger on the pulse of digital technology with the weekly email from the Which? Technology team. Every Tuesday we'll send you the latest news and reviews of MP3 players, mobile phones, cameras, high-definition TVs and other gadgets. Packed with the latest product launches, First Look reviews, expert advice and some incredible deals - can you afford not to be the first to find out?