Windows 7 Beta Shuts Down July 1

Users who run the trial version of Microsoft's new OS beyond its expiration date will suffer endless reboots.
A Microsoft official on Tuesday confirmed that the software maker plans to cripple the beta version of Windows 7 on July 1. The official said that an e-mail sent to users over the Memorial Day weekend indicating that the shutdown would begin on June 1 was in error.

Windows 7 screen shot
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"The date for when bi-hourly shutdowns will begin for the Windows 7 Beta was incorrect," Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, wrote in a post early Tuesday. "We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience this may have caused."

LeBlanc confirmed that, starting on July 1, users who are still running Windows 7 Beta will see their computers shut down and reboot every two hours. "I'll be posting a reminder that bi-hourly shutdowns will begin for the Windows 7 Beta as we get closer to July 1," he wrote.

The interruptions are designed to encourage early adopters to move to Windows 7 Release Candidate, a more polished preview version of Microsoft's next operating system.

"If you're still on the Windows 7 Beta you should certainly look at giving the Windows 7 RC at try!" wrote LeBlanc in his blog post.

Windows 7 RC will function until June 1, 2010. After that, users will need to upgrade to a full, paid version of the operating system to continue use. Microsoft recently said it's on pace to deliver a final version of Windows 7 in time for the crucial holiday shopping season.

Microsoft hopes Windows 7 helps it recover from the Vista flop. Vista failed to catch on with mainstream computer users and businesses have shunned it outright. Windows 7 is said to be lighter and easier to use than its predecessor. It also includes slick new features such as built-in support for touch screens and tools that improve everyday tasks such as desktop searches and PC-to-PC file transfers.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

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