Windows 7 beta to be released on Friday

You'll be able to try Windows 7 for yourself from 9 January.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed that a beta version of Windows 7 will be available to all on Friday.

This is the successor to the company's Windows Vista operating system, and is scheduled to be released in January 2010.

The announcement was made at CES in Las Vegas, where a brief Windows 7 demo was also given.

This showed that access to multiple windows has been improved - you can now put them side-by-side with a single click - while Jump Lists enable quick access to favourites.

As previously reported, Windows 7 also includes support for multi-touch technology.

If you want to download the beta, head over to Microsoft's Windows 7 website on 9 January.