So I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about Windows 7. Apparently, its the first Microsoft client OS release since XP (2002) that will actually improve with a new release. It also happens to be first “pre-release” Microsoft OS I’ve tried since 2001, which was when the release candidates of XP started to pop up on the Internet.
I was shocked to hear that Microsoft released a freely downloadable beta, so I decided to give it a shot. I googled “Windows 7 release candidate,” and the first result was this link . As soon as I get to the page, a pop-up comes up asking to install “Silverlight,” which is Microsoft’s lame attempt at creating a flash clone. Typical for MS, they clone something that is cross platform (.NET=Java, Silverlight=Flash), and make sure it only works well on Microsoft operating systems. Needless to say, I didn’t bother installing “Silverlight.”
So the next step was for me to click the download link. I assumed that would take me to a page where I pick my appropriate download, and away we go.. Nope, I was then prompted for a Microsoft “Windows Live” id. The windows live id is a relic of Microsoft’s failed “Passport” initiative to monopolize federated web authentication. It took me 10 tries, but I finally found an old account that worked.
So now can I download Windows 7? Nope, Microsoft wants me to fill out a survey. The best part of the survey is when they ask what my primary client operating system is, the only products they list are Windows! Naturally I picked “other,” but its just another shining example of Microsoft’s hubris.
So I avoided Silverlight, dug up an old passport account, and filled out a survey, can I download Windows 7 now? Nope, Microsoft wants to verify my e-mail account. Sadly, I never received a verification e-mail, so I guess I wont bother trying Windows 7 today.
Is pretty sad, that Microsoft can’t even get a simple beta download right. Its probably easier for someone to download a pirated copy of any Microsoft product, than it is to participate in a legitimate beta test.