Bob Familiar, a Microsoft Architect Evangelist, has revealed that Windows 7 Beta 1 will be distributed to attendees at the series of MSDN Developers Conferences scheduled between December 9th and February 19th.
However, those attending the first three conferences in Houston, Orlando and Atlanta will receive theirs in the mail "as soon as they become available." Attendees starting in Chicago on January 13th will receive their beta discs at the event itself. Technet's Keith Combs backed up this information saying that they are aiming to have Windows 7 beta materials by January 13th 2009. Microsoft claims that they are still targeting "early 2009" for the wider beta (with the finished version following in mid-2009), but if you are willing to drop $99 to score one early, you will need to register for the MSDN Developer's Conference nearest you ASAP. [Bob's Blog and Keith Combs via Windows 7 Center via Digg and CNET]