It is always said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that would definitely apply to the release candidate of Microsoft’s latest operating system, which is rigged to deactivate come June 2010 even as it is hailed as one of the better Windows OSes ever released.
In fact, according to some web sources, it seems that Microsoft had already started its efforts to get people off the Windows 7 RC. More on this after the break.
Like it or hate it, Microsoft’s Windows operating system powers the vast majority of PCs today, so it almost goes without saying that any update about the status of Windows has a huge impact on PC users globally.
And when that update concerns public alpha, beta or pre-release versions of Windows, it naturally becomes of even greater interest interest on the computing public. Like this particular update here regarding the Windows 7 RC.
As many would recall, in an attempt to gather feedback about what went wrong in Vista (and to prevent those problems from resurfacing), Microsoft gave the public access to both the beta and release candidate builds of Windows 7 with a little catch: those builds were time-bombed to automatically deactivate the OS after a certain date, which happens to be 01 July, 2010
Which made sense in a way: surely one cannot expect to be given a full-fledged OS for free just like that, right?
Except that Microsoft had started making its move even before the pre-release versions officially expire: according to various online users, their copies of the pre-release versions have started to shut down every two hours, a phenomenon which has been confirmed by Microsoft’s Windows team.
In a blog post by Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communication Manager, said that in addition to the bi-hourly shutdowns, the entire OS will be flagged as non-genuine: when this happens, the wallpaper will be removed and the operating system will be unable to access Windows Updates or “any downloads that require genuine Windows validation”.
So, if you’re still using the beta or RC versions of Windows 7, VR-Zone strongly recommends that you back up all your important personal data and move to an authorized version of Windows. And unfortunately, there is no upgrade path from the beta/RC version to the official Windows 7 release, so a clean install seems to be in order.