Microsoft Did Not Expect Such A High Windows 7 Beta Demand

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 10, 2009
Updated • Jun 5, 2014
Windows, Windows 7

You might have read that the first public beta release of Windows 7 was supposed to happen yesterday. If you followed the news on that day you might know that the beta was first seen on the Chinese Technet site which immediately came to an halt after the news spread. Download links went up on other Microsoft sites afterwards but they all led to error messages like "Server is to busy" or "This site is currently experiencing technical issues". While some early downloaders got their keys and ISO images most did not. Some spend most of the day on the Microsoft site trying to get a key.

Later that day Microsoft posted a new message on stating "Thanks for your interest in the Windows 7 Beta. The volume has been phenomenal -- we’re in the process of adding more servers to handle the demand". The download has been postponed and Microsoft is tight-lipped about the new release date of the beta release.

This is not the first release that is going bad. And it is not always Microsoft that is not able to predict correctly. It seems that most multi-national corporations have prediction difficulties. Who would not have thought that users around the globe would access the Microsoft servers to get one of the 2.5 million Beta keys after the announcement that the keys would be limited?

A question that surely is coming up is whether this resource limitation was intentional. Is it good or bad news if many more users than expected wanted to download the Windows 7 Beta. It is bad news for the individuals who tried to download it but it is good news for Microsoft as all news sites will report that the demand is incredible high.

That means there are two lines of though here. One is that Microsoft got their predictions about user interest in the Windows 7 beta wrong while the other is that Microsoft did not make use of their full infrastructure in order to create a groundbreaking demand of the product.


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  1. NightFlyer said on January 10, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I can’t speak for anyone else but in the last 18 hours I’ve reported 2 minor problems so I’m certainly testing it rather than just installing it for bragging rights.
    I should also add that as someone who works in IT it’s always a good idea to stay ahead of the game when possible so testing the beta also helps me find the ‘quirks’ and do some problem solving in advance so I know what I’m in for when the new OS is officially released.

  2. Dotan Cohen said on January 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Are people downloading and installing Windows 7 to report bugs to Microsoft, or is using the newest, prerelease alpha software now a fad? I ask because I see how postings of beta MS service packs and unreleased Mozilla products is so popular.

    1. Martin said on January 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm

      I think many do it for the bragging rights.

  3. NightFlyer said on January 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    got mine no problem, installed on my test machine and regged with MS online.

  4. VD said on January 10, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Key download worked just now, got 2 keys just in case for 32bit and 64bit version

  5. Stefan said on January 10, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    the direct download speed from microsoft was much, much faster for me than the BT download.

  6. darkkosmos said on January 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Why not just get one from bittorrent?

  7. Stefan said on January 10, 2009 at 11:47 am

    The ISOs are still available if you use the direct links (which have been posted on other blogs) – I set DownThemAll to run overnight to get the 64-bit edition.

    The problem is that the same servers deal with giving out valid serials to the beta testers, so people can’t activate their copies even if they have them (unless they use cracks)

    1. Martin said on January 10, 2009 at 11:50 am

      You can try this to grab a key, but as you said, servers are terribly busy and you usually get an error message.

  8. Rarst said on January 10, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Fail to predict? Sure, give people that… Vista thing and keep trying to kill XP for months, postponing it each time. Who would be interested in new OS in these comfortable conditions? :)

    This is hardly original thought but they should’ve just thrown it on torrent. Where it ended up anyway.

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