As confirmed by the Activision Blizzard Fourth Quarter Calendar 2009 Results Conference Call, the Starcraft 2 Beta will be launching before the end of this month. Starcraft 2 is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Starcraft that first launched 12 years ago and still boasts a large online player base, particularly in Korea and other countries. This comes after lots of speculation flying around recently regarding the release date and beta launch date coming very soon, despite several delay announcements since mid 2007. In addition to the beta announcement, there was also mention that the ship date for the first installment of starcraft 2 (Wings of Liberty) is slated to be shipped mid 2010. This can be confirmed by looking at the earnings guidance provided (if you consider attributing the expected revenue increases for Q2 to come from preorders which would likely begin in Q2 also).
According to the call, this will be a global beta with "thousands" of users from the US as well as other nations around the world. We know they gave out several beta keys during Blizzcon over the past few years, several others via their official twitter page, as well as others via several contests they have been running on the official SC2 website. They have also been accepting beta opt ins via the battle.net website so long as you have a valid product key from an existing Blizzard game for some time now, but we still don't know just how many users will be able to get in on the Beta in comparison to how many opt ins they have received, or what the criteria is. All we can do for now is sit and wait for an email...
The conference call was recorded and will likely be available on the Activision website after the call is concluded as well as the slides provided during the call: