Ballmer Opens Up Windows 7 Beta

Beta version of Vista successor available to the public starting tomorrow
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 5:25 AM CST

(Newser) – Windows 7 Beta will be launched to the public tomorrow, Steve Ballmer told the Consumer Electronics Show yesterday. The Microsoft chief, filling the keynote slot held by Bill Gates in the previous 11 years, told the audience that the operating system would be a return to the "special sauce" that made the firm an innovator, ChannelWeb reports.

Ballmer never mentioned the much-maligned Vista by name but addressed some of users' main gripes by promising that Windows 7 would boot faster, hog less power, and be more reliable than earlier versions. Ballmer also announced major steps forward in the company's "cloud computing" plans and major partnerships with Dell, Facebook, and Verizon to expand the reach of Windows Live and Live Search.