Microsoft has turned loose its Windows 7 Beta release to the public, and you can download it now. The beta times-out in the fall (it is a test version, after all), and is apparently limited to 2.5 million installs (product keys). You can learn more about the Windows 7 Beta release in our interview with Microsoft’s Stephen Rose on RunAs Radio.

As of 11:45 a.m. Pacific time, the “” servers responsible for the first phase of getting the new software were — not surprisingly — too busy. Try again later. We might see things improve in a few minutes (update: no change after the advertised time, just too many excited people), since the official release time is actually noon Pacific time (GMT -8). But it would be unusual for TechNet to post the page without the software being rolled out.

TechNet Plus subscribers (only) should download the software here.

You can use a program like ImgBurn (cool little app) to put the ISO image on your writable blank DVD.

I already have my downloaded copy and key, so time to install it on my HP laptop machine now that I have some spare time available for the next hour or so.