If you're running Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC), the end is near. Starting Feb. 15, people using Windows 7 RC, the free pre-release version of Microsoft's latest PC operating system, will receive a notification that their trial software is about to expire, according to a post today by Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc on The Windows Blog.
The bi-hourly notifications will remind Win 7 RC users that their PCs will "begin experiencing bi-hourly shutdowns" as of March 1. According to Microsoft Support, brave souls who ignore the reminders are in for some serious nagging. And then it gets worse. Here's the breakdown:
Starting Feb. 15:
- An expiration notification appears in the task bar once per day.
- The Notification Wizard pops up once every four hours, and then once per hour.
Starting March 1:
- The task bar nagging continues.
- Your PC restarts every two hours
- During shutdowns, your work won't be saved.
Starting June 1:
- Windows boots to a black desktop. Yikes.
- A Windows Activation screen reminds you that your Win 7 copy isn't genuine.
- The two-hour reboots continue.
What's missing? How about a message that reads: "Hey, you cheap %$*#&, isn't it time you bought Windows 7?
Of course, you could avoid the escalating misery by moving to a released version of Win 7. Keep in mind, however, that you'll need to do a custom (clean) install to replace the Release Candidate code. Microsoft provides installation instructions here.
And what if you decide to keep running Win 7 RC, despite the notifications and shutdowns? Well, you're truly a masochistic soul.
Another option: Uninstall Win 7 RC and revert to your previous OS. Here's how to do it. Good luck!