The free ride that users who opted in to the beta testing of Windows 7 has been a fairly long one, but it’s important to remember that it won’t last forever, and time is running out.
Of course, as we reported back in August of last year, those running with Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) won’t just wake up on March 1st to a machine that doesn’t boot up. Instead, those of you still running the Windows 7 RC will find that your PC decides to restart it once every two hours… whether you want it to or not. It’s not going to be a killer for everyone, but it should be enough of a headache that people will feel the need to move to a retail copy of Windows 7.
As Microsoft had already outlined in August, the involuntary shutdowns will be followed by some other headaches for people still using the beta version of Windows 7, including the fact that the license on their copy of Windows will expire. For those who haven’t encountered it before, this pulls your Windows desktop and refuses to let you change it back, pasting a small(ish) message in one corner of your desktop to inform all and sundry that you’re rolling with an unlicensed copy of Windows 7.
From there, the only real way to sort yourself out will be to y’know… actually go out and buy a license for Windows 7, which isn’t so bad really, considering that an awful lot of the people using the RC will have been using Windows 7 for around a year without having paid for it. Solid try-before-you-buy work there.
Since not everyone reads all of the news on earth, Microsoft has announced that it’ll be sending reminders starting on the 15th of February, to inform people that just after they’ve sorted out Valentine’s day presents, they’ve got to fork out some cash for Windows 7.