Windows 7 Beta 1 (public) available later this week?

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Robert tipped me about some speculations which have been posted today by Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet.

A small quote from her post :

The public (the one and only) beta of Windows 7 client and server could be released simultaneously with the private Beta 1 builds this week, according to some of my sources. What’s the point of a simultaneous public and private beta? The <em>private testers’ feedback will get top priority</em>; the public beta will be more of a milestone marker than anything else.

One source of mine said the Windows Server 2008 R2 code definitely will be available to the public this week, but was less sure about client. He said he thought the public beta of Windows 7 client might lag by a week or so.

Update: Nope. It’s going to be sooner, not later. The latest word: The public beta of Win 7 client is due to hit Friday, January 9, according to a source familiar with Microsoft’s plans. The public beta of Win 7 Server is due to hit a day earlier, January 8, the source added.

So I already scheduled next weekend for some playing around with Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2!