Windows 7 Beta Flunks Out Of Georgetown

University's IT department nixes downloads of Microsoft's new operating system.
A prestigious Washington, D.C., university has barred students and faculty from using the trial version of Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system on school computers.

Windows 7 screen shot.
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"Do not install new Microsoft beta release," states a new warning from Georgetown University's IT group. "Installing any beta version of software is extremely risky," the warning states.

In the warning, Georgetown's University Information Services department repeats Microsoft advisories that the beta version of Windows 7 could disable antivirus software and cause printers, video cards, and other hardware components to function incorrectly.

"UIS does not support Windows 7 -- UIS typically does not support beta versions of any software unless otherwise stated, so UIS will not provide any support of any kind if you choose to install it and encounter any of the above mentioned problems. In fact, Microsoft has stated that it will not even support Windows 7 Beta," the notice states.

Georgetown UIS says it will support the final version of Windows 7 after it's released and been thoroughly tested. Windows 7 is expected to be available either later this year or in early 2010. The beta version can be downloaded for free directly from Microsoft until Feb. 10.

Georgetown's warning highlights the risk facing IT departments if students or workers, possibly as a result of dissatisfaction with Vista, download Windows 7 Beta without authorization. An Intel engineer recently stated in a blog post that he's using Windows 7 Beta as the primary OS on his home systems and would do so on his corporate PCs if Intel so allowed.

Windows 7 Beta is so popular that Microsoft was recently forced to remove limits on the number of copies available for download.

Microsoft needs Windows 7 to be a hit. The company recently announced that Windows sales dropped 8% in the second quarter as more customers turned to Linux-powered netbooks and Macs. The software maker said it would lay off 5,000 full-time employees to cope with the sales slump and other challenges.