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Microsoft

Windows 7 RCs Shut Down To Force Updates 414

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the please-resume-download dept.
nk497 writes "The release candidate for Microsoft Windows 7 will expire June 2010, and the software giant will let users know they need to pay to upgrade by shutting down the system every two hours for three months. According to Microsoft: "The RC will expire on June 1, 2010. Starting on March 1, 2010, your PC will begin shutting down every two hours. Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start. To avoid interruption, you'll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You'll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use.""
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Windows 7 RCs Shut Down To Force Updates

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  • Crackfix please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazztastic (814296) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [citsatzzaps]> on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:39AM (#27907719)
    How long until someone crackfixes this? TIA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by inerlogic (695302)
      about 4 seconds...
      3... 2... 1....
    • Re:Crackfix please (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:45AM (#27907851)

      Who wants to use the RC version of Windows 7 forever? The RTM version will be released and cracked long before March 2010.

    • by iamhassi (659463) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:53AM (#27907969) Journal
      I hope that's all it does!

      When I installed Vista on a used laptop it didn't recognize the Vista CD Key on the laptop and wouldn't let me log in to the system. Only thing it would display is "YOUR KEY IS INVALID. PLEASE ENTER A VALID KEY OR CALL... (etc)". Safe mode didn't work either.

      I ended up calling the manufacture and paying $30 for restore DVDs, but it put the laptop completely out of commission for a week.
      • Re:Crackfix please (Score:5, Informative)

        by UncleTogie (1004853) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:06PM (#27908223) Homepage Journal

        When I installed Vista on a used laptop it didn't recognize the Vista CD Key on the laptop and wouldn't let me log in to the system. Only thing it would display is "YOUR KEY IS INVALID. PLEASE ENTER A VALID KEY OR CALL... (etc)". Safe mode didn't work either.

        First thought that came to mind is that you might've been using a Retail disk for an OEM install. While I've seen OEM disks from different PC makers work on other brands, I've yet to see a Retail version work with an OEM serial number.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by karnal (22275)

        I've had to call MS before since a client reloaded XP by himself and couldn't get past the key part. Was very simple - just had to verify with the person on the other end that the key wasn't in use more than once, then they activated it (challenge/response I think in XP) - this could have worked for you as well. Probably only 20 minutes out of my day (and billable...)

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Not long. the beta had cracks that disabled the timeout floating on TPB for a month now. This one will be dead in short order as well.

    • Re:Crackfix please (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PRMan (959735) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:20PM (#27909465)
      Just install Office 2000 and leave a copy of Word open. No Windows system can shut down then.
  • Um... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:40AM (#27907725)

    I Just changed my system clock to see what would happ

    • Re:Um... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:55AM (#27907989)

      I Just changed my system clock to see what would happ

      Well? What happened? You stopped in the middle of typing like you were talking about Candlejack or somethi

  • First off, might I applaud Davey Winder for his even handed non-biased journalism:

    Has Microsoft gone mental?

    What is totally mental, and I mean running around the supermarket without your pants on shouting "where is the mustard" mad ...

    Here is what Mental Microsoft has to say on the matter

    I get it, you learned a new word: mental. Please, try to use it in moderation and only when discussing things with your too cool for school third grade friends.

    Really, you sound surprised. Didn't they warn us about this anyway? That's why the general populace was not supposed to install this. For savvy users with their old image on a backup drive it's a minor inconvenience.

    Can one automagically revert to the legal Windows (if any) they had installed before they installed Windows 7? Of course not, this would make sense. And provide an easy way out of migration. For those who need an ill formed & flawed car analogy: It is like taking a new car for a test drive only to return to the dealership to discover that your old car has been crushed into a cube.

    • by Sfing_ter (99478)

      Indeed - M$ has done this since WinNT - I had installed a winnt server from the "trial" cd they sent our company and it would reboot on the hour after the 180day period. I was perplexed when we called them to purchase and they told us we would need to re-install - back in those days there was no "exporting the domain and user settings" that was actually workable/sane. Does not surprise me at all.

      I do know I can upgrade from the beta of SME server 8 to the full version without any problems... or re-installs

    • by Xugumad (39311) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:54AM (#27907973)

      I'm damn sure there was a warning in the giant pages of stuff I had to read before I was given the W7 RC. Certainly, I read this and went "Erm, yeah..."

      On top of which, it's always been very clearly "Do NOT install on a production system, this is for testing only". If it wiped my drive wholesale, it wouldn't be a catastrophe, because it's not on a system I can't trivially re-install. Methinks he didn't really read all the details...

    • by MrAngryForNoReason (711935) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:55AM (#27907999)

      For those who need an ill formed & flawed car analogy: It is like taking a new car for a test drive only to return to the dealership to discover that your old car has been crushed into a cube.

      It is clearly stated on the site where the Release Candidate is downloaded from that it is not recommended to install on your main machine as it will be necessary to reinstall a different OS at the end of the evaluation period. It is intended to be used on a testing machine, or by people who don't mind reinstalling after March next year.

      It amazes me that Microsoft give away a trial version of their new OS for anyone to try out for almost a year and there are so many people whose response is negative. If you don't want to have to reinstall next year then don't use it. Or wait for the retail release and buy a copy.

      If I gave you a house on a rent-free 12 month lease would you piss and whine about how inconvenient moving out would be?

      • by GauteL (29207)

        If I gave you a house on a rent-free 12 month lease would you piss and whine about how inconvenient moving out would be?

        While I agree with your intent, I would chose my analogies more carefully.

        In the case of Windows 7, you won't have saved anything if you purchase Windows 7 a year later. It will still be the same price. At most you would have saved a few quid interest on putting your money in the bank during your year of free Windows 7.

        Since housing is so incredibly expensive in comparison, you would most likely have saved an absolute fortune in rent/mortgage interest, that you could have saved up as part of a deposit on a

  • Late to the party! (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRealJobe (1125771) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:42AM (#27907779)
    File this under already announced before RC1 was released to the public, and file a second copy under you get what you pay for.
  • by fyrie (604735) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:44AM (#27907821)

    MS has been upfront about this since before they pushed the RC.

    • by KiltedKnight (171132) * on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:49AM (#27907887) Homepage Journal
      Agreed. If it was part of the EULA (there's that dreaded acronym again), then the users have no reason to complain about it. Though if nothing else, Microsoft might want to consider giving people who download and use this beta a discount on their "official release" copy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by localman57 (1340533)
      I'll go further than that. I'm glad they did it. I assume they're going to stop issuing downloadable security updates to the RC in March. As a user of the internet, I feel that there are already far too many unpatched Microsoft OS based Zombies lying in wait to do horrible things to people. It seems that a pre-release OS which could be in the wild for years without updates (by design) is a threat to the rest of us.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:16PM (#27908381)

      The normal course of action for a time limited demo would be to simply stop functioning when your time expires. That is what I expect from such things and how most of them work.

      However, what happens if you didn't get all your data off and so on? Well, this offers you a way to be able to operate the system, just with restrictions. It is a nicer way of handling things.

  • Upgraded (Score:3, Funny)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:45AM (#27907843) Journal
    I seriously doubt it shuts down every two hours. No Windows system is stable that long at a time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nizo (81281) *

      It would be awesome if Apple made an ad mentioning that since Microsoft users are so used to random crashes they made it a feature in their new release.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by HerculesMO (693085)

      Whilst modded "funny", it's this preconcieved notion and the spite of the *nix community that actually makes their arguments look far poorer.

      I took a RHEL class (instructor FROM RedHat) a while back, and 1/4 of the class was dedicated to bashing Windows. Oddly enough, most of his complaints were from a lack of knowledge, not because of the OS, so what does it say when you keep pushing that kind of attitude when people are trying to make *nix more successful and widely received?

      • Re:Upgraded (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday May 11, 2009 @01:02PM (#27909177) Journal

        Oddly enough, most of his complaints were from a lack of knowledge

        See also:

        • Windows users on Mac OS X.
        • Windows users on Linux.
        • Linux users on *BSD / Solaris.
        • Linux users on OS X.
        • Everyone on Haiku.

        In summary, people who don't know a system will claim it's inferior to the one they do know to justify their ignorance.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by need4mospd (1146215)
      That's not true, mine has been stable fo
    • Re:Upgraded (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Beelzebud (1361137) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:38PM (#27908731)
      Is that why my XP box has been on for 10 days, and 4 minutes?
      I love when people bash Windows based on their experiences from 10 years ago.
      Ubuntu crashes this box more than XP does...
  • by krelian (525362) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:46AM (#27907859)

    It's not shutting down to force updates, it's shutting down when the trial period expires.

    This is well known, was discussed here several times and is clearly mentioned on the Microsoft download page.

    To be honest it seems like slashdot has more stories about Microsoft than about Free software.

  • That this will wind up in the actual release in some form or another by mistake...it's only so easy to track zillions of lines of code after all.
  • How is that news? MS says about shutdowns right there on RC's download page. Must be a really slow news day, nothing to chew MS for...
  • by lurker412 (706164) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:49AM (#27907885)
    It sounds like a fully licensed version of Win95.
    • by greymond (539980)

      I think you mean Windows ME (Millennium) but it worked opposite of this RC, it was only working for up to 2 hours per day.

  • by Schnoogs (1087081) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:51AM (#27907927)

    Did everyone think MS was giving away a free OS??? I've come across people in other forums literally cussing out MS as if this is some dirty trick.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of some people. Like they think you have two options with Windows 7...either download the free version or go the store and buy the version that costs $100.

    Morons.

  • That's OK (Score:4, Funny)

    by MadAnalyst (959778) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:55AM (#27907995)
    It won't be much of a pain due to the blindingly fast Windows 7 boot time, right?
  • The original public release (I believe 7000) stated it would work until August 1, 2009. This hasn't changed, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We had one customer several years ago who complained that our product stopped working all of the sudden. The customer yelled at us and threatened to sue us out of existence.

    We looked into his problem anf it turns out he used an evaluation copy of Windows 2000 and the license expired on him.

    It was a bank in LA. I forget the name. The bastards are probrably collecting TARP funds.

  • by alta (1263) on Monday May 11, 2009 @11:58AM (#27908073) Homepage Journal

    Say, oh, 15 million people install RC (I did.)
    Come June, you want to start getting paid (you're M$), you have two options...

    1. Release an 'upgrade to paid version' where you charge people FULL PRICE for the equivilent of whatever they're running. (I'm using ultimate)

    2. Force people to pay for the version they choose AND reinstall everything.

    Now, to get the most money out of me, and I'd bet most everbody, they should do #1. A year from now, I'm going to have installed a lot of stuff, done a LOT of customizing and unless it's just time to rebuild, I'm REALLY not going to want to reinstall. I would be HAPPY to pay for Ultimate at that point. The alternative is go back to Vista which I've already paid for or reboot every 2 hours. Neither are good for me, so I'll start looking for a crack. Time is money, and I'd spend way more money rebuilding to get off the RC than I'd spend paying for an ultimate license.

    But, I'd bet Microsoft is going #2. No betting actually, that's the plan. So they're going to have a bunch of people who are just going to deal with reboots. Then there will be a bunch of people who are going to go the cracking route. Then there's the people who are going to pay, but will downgrade because they don't use all that ultimate crap anyway. And what's left, are the people who fall in line and do what M$ wants them too. But think of all the money they could have gotten from the others, had they only offered an upgrade path...

    And it's not like it's a complicated upgrade, just replace the part of the system that makes this an RC build! That's got to be easier than a service pack!

    • by alta (1263)

      Full disclosure, I expect that between the time the full version is released, and this one expires, I will have a need to reinstall.

      I'm the BOFH here, and when someone needs a new, snazzy fast computer, I order me a new one and they get mine. Trickle down economics really does work! I think dell just came out with some new models :)

    • A year from now, I'm going to have installed a lot of stuff, done a LOT of customizing and unless it's just time to rebuild, I'm REALLY not going to want to reinstall.

      A year from now, I'll still have all my important stuff on my XP partition, which I will upgrade to Win7.

      Before the upgrade, any data worth saving from the old Win7 partition will be copied to my 2nd hard drive, then copied back to my new Win7 installation after the upgrade.

      Then I'll probably convert the old Win7 partition back from NTFS to EXT3 (or maybe EXT4 by then, depending) and reinstall Ubuntu (provided I can get their boot manager to work with my hard drive geometry, which it hasn't in about 2 years

  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aliencow (653119) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:01PM (#27908133) Homepage Journal

    Why is this being posted over and over on very tech site?

    Who cares?
    You're installing a beta or a release candidate. Do you expect it to be supported forever?

    And are we really surprised Microsoft put in just a tiny bit of protection to prevent the average joe from continuing to use Windows 7 RC forever?

  • by amaiman (103647) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:03PM (#27908161) Homepage

    I'm not sure why people keep bringing up this issue. It's a release candidate being released for evaluation of software that isn't free. If they didn't disable it after a certain date, people would continue to use it indefinitely, and then would expect support as well. By forcing people to upgrade to the release version, it ensures they're not using an old, buggy release candidate. (Whether the final release will be better remains to be seen, of course, this is a Microsoft product, after all :-)

    Everyone is given fair warning about this before installing the RC (which shouldn't really be on production systems anyway). If you don't like what you see, then stop using it, otherwise upgrade to the release version when it comes out.

    A method to upgrade to release without having to completely reinstall would be nice, but they've never done that in the past and I wouldn't expect to see it done this time, either.

  • After the debacle of Vista, I could have sworn I read on this very site a few weeks ago that Win 7 was going to offered as a FREE upgrade, at least to Vista users. Am I on crack or did I actually see that story?

  • by mkcmkc (197982) on Monday May 11, 2009 @12:59PM (#27909125)

    Will they include a dialog box so that we know Windows didn't just crash again?

    Actually, this reminds me of an entry from SKB's classic Devil's DP Dictionary:

    blank card n. Also called spacer card. An unpunched card placed in an input deck at 10,000-card intervals. Since electromechanical devices enjoy a consistent 1e10^4 error rate, the blank-card trick minimizes the impact of card-reader malfunctions.

    An oldie, but a goodie!

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