I am not too sure that the number of people still running the Windows 7 RC is that high, but if you happen to be, take note. On February 15th, RC installs will begin receiving messages that remind the user that as of March 1st, the PC will begin its bi-hourly automatic shutdown. That’s right… bi-hourly. These shutdowns will continue from that point straight through until June 1st.
At that point, a “non-genuine experience” experience clicks in, where the wallpaper is removed and a “This copy of Windows is not genuine” message will be displayed in the bottom right-hand corner. For those looking to upgrade their OS to an official and legal version, take away the “upgrade”, and you can do it buy purchasing the OS via regular means.
Yes, there’s no upgrade mode with the RC, because some code changed between then and the actual RTM. It’s unfortunate, but given that Microsoft warned about this at the beginning, it seems there’s little room for complaint. Doing a clean install isn’t so bad, though. Do you ever feel like crap when just getting out of the shower? Doubtful. Putting a clean copy of Windows on your PC can invoke a similar feeling!
If one thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t waste much time if you are actually using the RC, because from what Microsoft describes, running it past March 1st looks to give an entirely new meaning to “annoying”.
On June 1st, 2010, a non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar. This means your PC will no longer be able to obtain optional updates or downloads that require genuine Windows validation.