In recent weeks Microsoft has faced angry reactions from bloggers and beta testers when they originally announced the testers "thanks" was the discounted pre-order offer. Blogger Paul Thurrot claimed: "the painful thing here, for beta testers, is that they've been screwed" which demonstrated the reaction to the previous announcements.
In a blog posting at Microsoft's Windows Team Blog, Brandon LeBlanc confirmed: "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." All current members of the English technical and international mini-beta programs are eligible for a full non-upgrade copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. Testers can get access to their copy in one of two ways:
- Download a copy and product key via Microsoft connect, English downloads will be available August 6th and other languages will follow as they become available.
- Boxed retail copies are available in a limited amount and are being offered on a first come, first served basis. These copies will not be ready until October 22nd or later.