While it's something -- and definitely more than anything we've seen so far -- the population at large shouldn't expect to see closed beta key applications and giveaways popping up all over the place. NCsoft seems to be continuing its pattern of very limited testing for GW2. Still, it's a step in the right direction for eager fans.
[UPDATE: ArenaNet elaborated on the beta information by explaining "We have a studio internal selection process for our Closed Beta that starts on Friday. There will be no public application form."]