In an entry in the offical Windows 7 Blog Friday, Microsoft announced the Windows 7 open beta would be available until February 10, with a couple extra days for those who need to finish downloads begun before the deadline. The beta was originally set to end on January 24.

Some have speculated that the extended deadline means Microsoft hasn't reached the 2.5 million downloads that were initially supposed to be available, but the entry in the blog states that "we have more than enough beta testers and feedback coming in to meet our engineering needs."

Extending the availability of the beta seems like a good idea to me. The press has been very positive toward the beta, so more people are likely to want to give it a try. The longer the beta is available straight from Microsoft, the longer before those curious about Windows 7 have to turn to less reputable options.

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