The free ride couldn’t last forever. After a brief trial period, users running the free version of Windows 7 Microsoft made available as a Release Candidate will begin seeing their systems shut down every two hours to alert them that the software is set to expire June 1.
Datamation has the story on what some have dubbed “shutdown hell,” and details the process for migrating to the official retail version of the new operating system.
As of Monday, the free “Release Candidate,” or RC, of Windows 7 will start to automatically shut down every two hours to warn users that the RC will completely expire on June 1.
In order to test Windows 7 last spring, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) made the RC — the last test phase before the operating system was “Released to Manufacturing” — available to users for download.
While some sites hailed the RC downloads as a “free” way to obtain Windows 7, however, Microsoft put a limit on how long the RC would run. It would be more correct to say that it was a free trial.
The company did the same thing with the beta test copies of Windows 7 released in January 2009.
In the case of the beta, those copies began shutting down at the end of June, and completely expired — not even letting users get to the desktop, as of Aug. 1.