Windows 7 LogoSteve Ballmer has just announced during his keynote address in 2009 Internet CES that the public beta for Windows 7 will be released on Friday, January 9, 2009. The public beta of Windows 7 will be available worldwide for everybody to download and get a genuine working product key.

Catch the Steve Ballmer keynote address live now to get latest announcements.

According to Windows 7 Team Blog, the Windows 7 Beta will be available for Windows enthusiasts to download via the Windows 7 page on The Windows 7 Beta is going to be available download-only (no physical media) and available for a limited time to the first 2.5 million people who download the beta.

Another thing to note is that Windows 7 Beta will expire on August 1st, 2009. The currently leaked Windows 7 build 7000 expires on around July 1, 2009. So the actual official beta version for Windows 7 Beta may not be build 7000. However, the SHA1 hash values for the ISO images have been verified to be the same, so it’s likely that the official Windows 7 beta will have build 7000 too.

For those who can’t wait to download the first public beta of Windows 7 with build version 7000, the build has already leaked in Internet. You can be the first to download 32-bit (x86) Windows 7 Beta Build 7000 or 64-bit (x64) Windows 7 Beta 1 Build 7000.

If you’re MSDN or TechNet subscribers, the download and product key is available now.