With less than two weeks remaining until the general availability for Windows 7 Beta downloads ends (well, at least from the official site) we wanted to encourage those who may be waiting for a final release to go ahead and give it a try. Of course, this being a beta we wouldn’t recommend using it for any critical stuff but, if you are anything like us and enjoy tinkering with new software, then Windows 7 is definitely worth a look if just for its revamped taskbar and improved window management.

The user interface received some welcome changes, with elements that are both pretty and useful, such as the new jump lists, live thumbnails and Aero Peek. Microsoft also put a lot of work into making backups easier, simplifying the task of setting up networks and sharing media, and tweaking the Windows Explorer so it feels more intuitive. While the release isn't bug free, overall it is pretty stable for a first beta and certainly feels more responsive than Vista. It is also said to be feature complete.

Should you decide to give it a try, a copy of Windows 7 is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit form. Also, to get you started, we have posted a guide to dual boot Windows 7 with XP/Vista in three easy steps, and another one to reverse the process in case you want to go back to your single OS setup. Minimum requirements detailed after the break.

Minimum recommended specs:
o 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
o 1 GB of system memory
o 16 GB of available disk space
o Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (to enable the Aero theme)
o DVD-R/W Drive