Word has hit the web that Microsoft has delayed the release of the first beta version of Windows 7 from October to mid-December:
Fans, developers, and customers are eagerly awaiting the release of the first beta candidate of the new OS. Initially speculation was that Microsoft would roll out beta 1 at its late October Professional Developers Conference (PDC), or at the latest, at its early November Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC).
However, it appears that the release has been pushed back. ZDNet cites inside sources as saying that the earliest the beta 1 might be released would be mid-December. A scant few already have their hands on the new OS. Some hardware partners and a select group of customers were given access to the two milestones -- alpha builds of sorts -- M1 and M2. The Windows team is supposedly in the process of wrapping up M3 for release.
The slip has led many to speculate that Microsoft may release an interim Community Technology Preview (CTP) build for release to a broader group of testers. However, if it has such plans, Microsoft is leaving its customers and hardware partners in the dark about them. Most reticently believe that Microsoft will not release Windows 7 previews to a wider audience until it’s nearly feature-complete.