Microsoft gives users Windows 7 free for 13 months
Company confirms June 1, 2010 expiration date for Windows 7 RC
Computerworld - Microsoft Corp. will let users run Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) for more than a year, giving them free use of the new operating system for a significantly longer time than it did Vista's previews.
Windows 7 RC, slated for download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers today and by the general public on May 5, doesn't expire until June 1, 2010, 13 months from tomorrow, Microsoft confirmed today.
When asked why the company is giving users such a long free pass for the software, a spokeswoman declined to comment.
The date had been leaked more than a month ago, when a Microsoft site temporarily posted a page that revealed other details of the upcoming RC, including a May delivery and no limit on the number of downloads.
"You don't need to rush to get Windows 7 RC," the leaked page read in late March. "The RC release will be available at least through June 2009, and we're not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time."
The 13-month life span of Windows 7 RC is substantially longer than the time limit Microsoft put on Vista's release candidates. In September and October 2006, Microsoft issued Vista RC1 and Vista RC2, respectively; both expired June 1, 2007. Users of Vista RC2 then were able to run the operating system free of charge for nearly eight months.
Starting June 1, 2007, PCs powered by Vista previews, including the two release candidates, began rebooting every two hours, part of Microsoft's preplanned scheme to remind users to move to a paying copy.
Although Microsoft continues to be coy about a final release date for Windows 7 -- according to calculations by Todd Bishop, who writes the TechFlash blog, the company is behind schedule for such an announcement -- it has said that today's RC will be the only release candidate for the operating system.
The next milestone will be what Microsoft calls "release to manufacturing," or RTM, a stage that means developers have signed off on the code and the company has moved the product into duplication and begun handing it to its hardware partners for installation on new PCs.
Microsoft was having trouble serving up Windows 7 RC to MSDN and TechNet subscribers today, as the download sites for both services were overloaded early Thursday. As of 1 p.m. Eastern time, the MSDN and TechNet download pages for Windows 7 RC remained offline.
Read more about Windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts