In a weeks time, computers that have the Release Candidate (build 7100) of Windows 7 installed will begin to experience a bi-hourly (every two hours) recurring shutdown. That means a not so subtle prompt of having your PC shutting down as a reminder to fork up some cash for the retail version or saddle up back to Microsoft’s legacy OS, Windows XP.
If you’re asking why Microsoft would do such a thing is because as part of the agreement for allowing you to use the Release Candidate for free up until June 1. If up until then you still haven’t switched OS (which is a feat that calls for applause considering your computer will start to forcibly shut down starting May 1), according to Ars Technica, it will trigger a “non-genuine experience.” What’s this non-genuine experience? Aside from the scheduled shut downs, your wallpaper will be replaced with a plain backdrop with a message “This copy of Windows is not genuine” plastered at the lower right corner of the desktop. Looks fancy doesn’t it? /sarc
If you want to retain your copy of Windows 7 there’s two things you can do, get it cheap (via MSDNAA, your company’s MSDN/Bizspark subscription, your friend?) or locate and install a copy of Windows 7 RTM. 😀