Windows 7 Beta set to start shutdowns tonight

Windows 7 beta users will start to be plagued by bi-hourly shutdowns from midnight tonight.

The automatic shutdowns are Microsoft’s attempt to wean people off the Beta, and move them on to the free Release Candidate software. The Beta software will stop working completely on 1 August.

Rather confusingly, the warning message that’s already popped up on our office Windows 7 Beta machine (see grab at foot of page) says: “This pre-release version of Windows 7 Ultimate will expire in 13 hours”, conveniently forgetting to mention that there’s still a month left on the clock.

Microsoft announced last week that it would continue to make the Windows 7 Release Candidate available for download from its website until 15 August.

Product keys for the software will still be available after that date, which means people who’ve downloaded the ISO will still be able to install and activate copies past the August deadline.

We dare say the software will continue to be available through unofficial channels past Microsoft’s August cut-off point, anyway.

The The Windows 7 Release Candidate is available for download here.

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