You'll need some technical skills, like knowing how to:
Burn an ISO file to make an install DVD (A good example of what we mean by “technical”)
Install Windows (of course)
Backup and restore your PC (There's a chance of losing files, so it's a good idea to do a backup of anything you want to save.)
Set up a network
It can be glitchy—so don't use a PC you need every day.
Minimum recommended specs call for:
1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
1 GB of system memory
16 GB of available disk space
Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (to enable the Aero theme)
Internet access (to download the Beta and get updates)
And yes, like anything tech-related, these specs could change.
Some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of "touch," may require advanced or additional hardware.
You'll need a system recovery disk (and know how to use it).
You're [almost] flying solo: you'll need to troubleshoot problems yourself and call on other Beta testers for their know-how.
It's a two-way thing—Beta testing is about feedback so our developers can fix bugs and hear what appeals to the people who use our products daily. Please tell us what you think.
Watch the calendar. The Beta expires on August 1, 2009. To continue using your PC, please be prepared to reinstall a prior version of Windows or a subsequent release of Windows 7 before the expiration date. (See installation instructions.)