Is Windows 7 beta about to go public?

! Warning: this post hasn't been updated in over three years and so may contain out of date information.

An intriguing link has appeared on the Windows 7 home page entitled “Download the Windows 7 Beta”. Currently it gives a 404 HTTP error. Is it due to start serving up the public beta of Windows 7 soon though, or has April 1st come early for Microsoft?

Windows 7 beta link

UPDATE: Having checked back at 23:00 GMT, the link has gone. So was it a wind-up, or did someone at Microsoft leak the link? Guess time will tell…

UPDATE 2: Apparently the official line is that it was a CMS publishing error and the beta will be unveiled on the 7th January. See here and here. The second link ist auf Deutsch.

UPDATE 3: As of 8/1/2009. Windows 7 beta, build 7000 is of course available on various torrent feeds, but it is also alleged to be available on MSDN, Connect and TechNet. With the boss on a course, I’ve not been able to check MSDN for myself. I did check on Connect though and it’s not available to me, so presumably one must already have been invited to join the beta programme to be able to access it there. However, it is due to be available to the first 2.5 million subscribers from the Windows 7  website as of tomorrow (9/1/2009).