So let it be written, so let it be done. During Steve Ballmer’s decidedly humdrum keynote yesterday evening, the Microsoft CEO made several announcements that were less than surprising. In fact, the majority of Ballmer’s key points were leaked earlier this week. One simple statement however, has the tech blogosphere buzzing and rightfully so. That statement: “I’m thrilled to announce the availability of the Windows 7 beta.” Despite the fact that everyone and their 10-year-old torrent-traversing nephew has already gotten their hands on unofficial builds of Microsoft’s upcoming revival OS, the beta release of 7 marks the start of what is looking like a huge (HUGE) turning point for Microsoft. It’s not exactly a state secret that Vista has been a low point for the company; love it or hate it, the OS has a negative stigma that has been a blemish on Redmond since Vista was first previewed. With each passing day and each new mention of Windows 7, the dark and dingy room that Microsoft had been trapped in gets a bit brighter. Rumors of July upgrade availablility are one thing, but the official public release of the Windows 7 beta is big, big stuff. When it becomes available tomorrow, anyone with a PC and about 45 free minutes (yup, it can be installed in as little as 45 minutes) should download Windows 7 from http://www.microsoft.com/windows7 – you can be sure we will.