Apparently, Microsoft decided to hold off on releasing the latest build of Windows 7. Instead, company employees in charge of beta deployment chose to play Gears of War 2 instead, and make consumers wait a bit more just for spite. Ok, not really.
According to Microsoft, the company decided to delay the release of Windows 7's beta due to overwhelming demand and the servers' inability to handle the heavy-duty traffic. Whether or not this tidbit of news is actually true or not consumers won't ever know. If Microsoft can release faulty Xbox 360 consoles unto its unsuspecting fan base fully aware of the problems consumers would face, it should be easy enough for the company to put on a government conspiracy cloak and blame the delay on high demand.
And while it's fun to poke fun at large corporations and their methods of deception, the fact is that Microsoft posted news of the delay on The Windows Blog and is sticking to the story. "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. 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!"
Excited is a relatively good term to use considering that a large portion of Windows Vista consumers are anxiously waiting to upgrade. But those seeking the beta now will have to wait indefinitely, for at the time of this writing, Microsoft offered no renewed release date. However, other reports released as early as this morning back up Microsoft's claims, saying that consumers wanting the new Windows 7 Beta began to flood the servers even though the release wouldn't go live until later this afternoon around 3pm EST (story).
But why are so many consumers -2.5 million in fact- eager to download the Windows 7 beta? Is Vista that awful? It seems rather ironic in a way, as the new OS is based on Vista architecture anyway, yet consumers are eager to flock to the new operating system as if Vista sent them screaming like a mob of horrified villagers in a horror movie. Many critics believe that Windows 7 - after toying around with the beta - is nothing more than a service pack for Vista.
"I’ve been playing with the Windows 7 Build 7000 (Beta 1) for several days now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, like Vista, it’s not a major improvement over what most users are currently experiencing with Windows XP, and is at best only a slight improvement over Vista SP1," said ZDNet's Jason Perlow back on January 1. "In a number of cases, I think they’ve gone even further down the user rejection hole."
I hope that's not the case and that Widows 7 will be the true successor to the widely-popular Windows XP operating system. Until then, consumers can download the beta and give the new installment a test drive whenever Microsoft bandages its wounded servers and reloads the massive 2.5GB beta.