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Windows 7 betas worldwide began bi-hourly shutdowns today. The move is engineered by Microsoft to push users to the Release Candidate build and eventually to purchasing a full edition.  (Source: Gawker)
Users will begin to experience unpleasant interruptions

As forewarned, if you are among the millions who downloaded the Windows 7 beta and you haven't since upgrade to the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC), you are about to experience unpleasant service interruptions.  In lieu of an October 22 release, and a wrap-up for the RC phase, Microsoft began the end of life process for the beta release today.

Starting today users running the beta version of the OS will have their system shut down every two hours.  Microsoft is urging users who stuck with the beta to jump to the release candidate, which includes a number of additional features and refinements.  Writes Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc in a Windows team blog post, "If you're still on the Windows 7 Beta you should certainly look at giving the Windows 7 RC at try!"

For those enjoying the free Release Candidate, the good times will roll until
June 1, 2010, when the RC build will cease to function, forcing users to purchase the new OS (or revert to Vista/XP).  The RC download program ends August 15.

Microsoft's Windows 7 is currently in its second week of the pre-order program, which is nearing its end.  The pre-order program will end on Saturday, July 11.  Users can still snag a pre-order copy of Home Premium upgrade for a mere $49.99 or Professional for $99.99.  Once the pre-order expires, these upgrade prices will jump to $119.99 and $199.99 respectively, with Ultimate edition being priced at $219.

Pre-orders will soon also available still in
UK, Japan, France, and Germany.  For EU customers, the pre-orders are especially sweet as they allow Europeans to snag the OS at its cheapest full-retail prices.  In the European Union Microsoft will not be offering an upgrade SKU, but will be offering full retail versions at the same price as the upgrade versions in America.  The international pre-order program runs from July 15 to August 14.

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Already pre-ordered
By Spivonious on 7/1/2009 1:43:54 PM , Rating: 4
Why would anyone still be running the beta? The RC doesn't have lots of bugs that I found in the beta.

I preordered my copy of Home Premium a couple of days ago. For $50, who could resist?

To explain my choice of HP over Pro, I can live without automatic backups to network locations and remote desktop functionality is easily duplicated with something like FreeVNC. I never use EFS or Offline Files, don't have a domain to join at home, and won't hit the 16GB max RAM limit for at least a couple more years.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By Brandon Hill on 7/1/2009 1:46:36 PM , Rating: 3
I pre-ordered a copy of Home Premium for my wife and Professional for myself. You can't beat $150 for two legit copies of a Windows OS.

The only reason why I went with Professional for myself was for the XP license/virtualization.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By Spivonious on 7/1/2009 2:10:48 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah at first I was really excited about "XP Mode" but then I realized that all of my software works on 7 without it.

Also, apparently you can still get XP Mode on Home Premium, you just need to have a valid XP license.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By Brandon Hill on 7/1/2009 2:30:41 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, but I figured that the extra $50 spread over the 2-3 year lifespan of the OS is trivial. Might as well spend the extra dough.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By SunAngel on 7/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Already pre-ordered
By Hippiekiller on 7/1/2009 8:30:43 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think you know what trivial means...

RE: Already pre-ordered
By SunAngel on 7/1/2009 10:20:48 PM , Rating: 1
Jeevezzz!!! It's hot in hear!!!

RE: Already pre-ordered
By Flunk on 7/2/2009 1:23:02 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think you know what hear means...

RE: Already pre-ordered
By SilthDraeth on 7/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Already pre-ordered
By dastruch on 7/1/2009 9:15:23 PM , Rating: 5
I "pre-ordered" my copy of Ultimate at the PirateBay long time ago but after the PB got sold now I'll have to "pre-order" it again.

I guess you know the reason behind the Ultimate decision.


RE: Already pre-ordered
By walk2k on 7/1/2009 3:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Can you upgrade from XP or do you have to have Vista to buy the upgrade versions?

RE: Already pre-ordered
By pequin06 on 7/1/2009 3:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
You can upgrade from xp to Win 7.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By OCDude on 7/1/2009 4:06:17 PM , Rating: 3
That's not entirely true. They will support "upgrading" from XP. However it will be achieved by way of a tool to help in backing up all your documents and settings before performing a clean install. Only Vista will support in place upgrades.

You can read about it here:

RE: Already pre-ordered
By colinsncrunner on 7/1/2009 5:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
Alright, so I also pre-ordered the upgrade, but I realized after pre-ordering the upgrade path I chose may not be possible. I have vista ultimate because I got it through my college, but I don't need Windows 7 professional or business, so I just went with home premium. Is it still possible to migrate the Windows 7 home premium though I have Vista Ultimate currently installed?

RE: Already pre-ordered
By theapparition on 7/1/2009 6:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
No, you can't do an in-place upgrade to lower featured versions.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By colinsncrunner on 7/1/2009 6:24:46 PM , Rating: 1
That's the dumbest thing of all time. So I might as well cancel the pre-order then?

RE: Already pre-ordered
By Nekrik on 7/1/2009 6:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, ordering the wrong disk would be pretty bad :).

From the website (for your post and for many others in this thread):

Running Windows Vista?
If you have Windows Vista, you can purchase Windows 7 Upgrade versions. You can do a clean install (back up your files, clean install, and reinstall your applications) or an in -place upgrade (Windows 7 installs over Windows Vista).

Running Earlier Versions?
If you have Windows XP or Windows 2000, you can purchase Windows 7 Upgrade versions. But you must back up your files, clean install, and reinstall your applications.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By colinsncrunner on 7/1/2009 7:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
So does that mean I would just have to do a clean install (which I'm fine with) or would the Windows 7 disk not even register when I attempted to install. (I suppose I'm missing the distinction between an upgrade disk and a full installation disk) If the second is the case, I still have my XP pro installation disks, so would I be able to downgrade to XP Pro, then upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium?

RE: Already pre-ordered
By amandahugnkiss on 7/1/2009 8:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is the clean install option, I've not done this for a long time but I think the process is similar to this very condensed set of steps:

1. boot off of the upgrade Win7 DVD - it will complain that there is nothing to update, somewhere in this process you will get the oportunity to insert the old OS (XP,Vista) install CD to prove that you have a full install retail disk
2. insert the old OS DVD and prove you got it
3. finish the install with the Win7 DVD

if this is wildly (or mildly) incorrect I'm sure someone can jump in and correct how the process works.

Basically, they are not allowing you to upgrade from a running WinXP install to Win7, but they will let you do a clean install of Win7 with the upgrade CD if you have proof of XP or Vista. I think the way this works is that all the bits needed to do a clean install are on the upgrade DVD (same as the full install DVD), they just verify you either have a valid license or a working install of the older OS before letting yo get them off of the disk.

Regardless of the situation, if was able to make a choice I would do a clean install, it's good practice to have a 'clean' system to start with.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By theapparition on 7/2/2009 7:21:22 AM , Rating: 4
If you own a legal copy of any flavor of XP or Vista, you are eligible to purchase and install the upgrade version.

For XP, all installations work by running the DVD. It will give you the option to back up files, but will perform a clean installation.

For Vista, you may be able to do an upgrade, depending on the version installed. For example, if you have Vista Home Premium, you will be able to do an upgrade (not a clean install) to Windows 7 Home Premium.
According to Paul Thurrott's Winsupersite, you will not be able to upgrade feature richer versions of Vista to lower featured versions of Win7. For example, Vista Ultimate users are not able to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional (or Home Premium).

However, as is usually true with Microsoft, there is generally a workaround. We'll have to wait to see, but I haven't seen one yet (Haven't really looked hard yet).

Hope this clears up the confusion.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By namechamps on 7/2/2009 1:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
Clean install.

What some people are confused about is that the full retail and the "upgrade" just refer to the license.

You can do a clean install or upgrade with either one.

To qualify for the "upgrade" version (which can do an upgrade or clean install) you need a valid copy of XP or Vista.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By walk2k on 7/1/2009 6:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't plan to do that, I will do a clean install.

I just want to know if I can use my old XP disc (XP Home) as the "proof" for the Upgrade version of 7 Home.

Last time I tried to upgrade (to XP) it wouldn't let me because I only had an upgrade version of 98 (the last full version I had was 95) so I had to purchase a full version of XP. So I'm wondering if they did the same thing with 7 or if they allow upgrades from 2 versions ago.

RE: Already pre-ordered
By KashGarinn on 7/2/2009 5:30:17 AM , Rating: 2
Why would anyone still be running the beta?

Well, before I found out how, there isn't an upgrade path between the first beta and RC1.

Now I know how, so I'm upgrading.

I guess the EU actually did do something then
By jimbojimbo on 7/1/2009 1:51:47 PM , Rating: 5
Let me get this straight,. The EU fines the hell out of MS and now MS is selling the full verion to Europe at the same price we'll have to pay for the upgrade package? Let's sue the hell out of MS so we get the same deal!

Can I order the full version from England and just have it ship out here?

By kaoken on 7/1/2009 2:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
LOL yeah what's up with that.

By on 7/1/2009 2:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently "same price" means "same amount in local currency" since the upgrade price listed on the UK-site is GBP instead of USD - so it's actually 65% more expensive than in US!
NB:10 attempts to create a new user and in frustration I end up with this because nothing else worked :-/

By FITCamaro on 7/1/2009 3:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
You'll still have to pay the VAT.

RE: I guess the EU actually did do something then
By plewis00 on 7/1/2009 5:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but since when was $49.99 (what you pay for the Home Premium upgrade) equal to £49.99 (what I will pay for the Home Premium full E version). I think you'll find £49.99 we pay for Home Premium is approximately $80.

And we get Windows E without Internet Explorer - I actually quite like IE7 (not a big fan of IE8 yet) and I would rather have it and then choose another browser additionally if I wanted, not have to actually go and specifically choose the one I want to use (which would be IE8 for Windows 7).

If you are going to moan unnecessarily, make sure it's a legitimate comment...

By cocoman on 7/2/2009 3:56:42 AM , Rating: 3
Actually if you compare full US version to the full EU version it is cheaper in the EU.

I don´t understand how taking out the IE of the OS makes it cheaper. In the end IE is free you just have to download it.

RE: I guess the EU actually did do something then
By Motley on 7/1/2009 10:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
I would say the cost of doing business in the EU has gone up because of fines. Microsoft is just passing those extra costs onto the EU citizens. After all, why should the US citizens pay for the retardedness of the EC?

By pxavierperez on 7/2/2009 4:51:07 AM , Rating: 2
i think that practice is called "dumping" in economic term. japan and korea got into trouble for it before.

mick, use dictionary
By johnsonx on 7/1/2009 5:23:42 PM , Rating: 5
In lieu of an October 22 release, and a wrap-up for the RC phase, Microsoft began the end of life process for the beta release today.

Get your dictionary out and look up 'lieu' as in 'In lieu of'. Then come back and fix your article.

Also, Microsoft didn't DO anything today. The 'kill switch' as you call it has always been in Windows 7 beta, and it was activated by the date. Microsoft could have ceased to exist yesterday, and Windows 7 beta installations would still be shutting down today.

RE: mick, use dictionary
By icanhascpu on 7/1/2009 8:12:17 PM , Rating: 4
Seriously, Mick is the poster-boy for pseudo-intellectual.

RE: mick, use dictionary
By johnsonx on 7/2/2009 11:09:54 PM , Rating: 3
The guy's borderline idiotic level of writing on even simple subjects, along with a strong tendencey to sensationalize non-events, makes me doubt the validity of anything he writes on any subject. I know I'm not alone.

Why order Windows 7 if Vista works fine?
By honestIT on 7/1/2009 5:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
So many posts how Vista was unfairly judged and how great it runs (seems everyone here has high end machines)

Why Buy the new OS if Vista exceeds your expectations?

By invidious on 7/1/2009 5:14:31 PM , Rating: 3
Why do anything? Why not stay in bed all day? Why ask pointless questions?

By TomZ on 7/1/2009 5:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why Buy the new OS if Vista exceeds your expectations?
Because Windows 7 is better than Vista.

By MonkeyPaw on 7/1/2009 9:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm keeping Vista on my desktop (wife doesn't like 7 RC anyway), but the $49 Win7 HP upgrade is going on my Eee. :)

By Squibby on 7/1/2009 1:44:56 PM , Rating: 3
The title implies that Microsoft flipped some switch today that sends a message to all Windows 7 beta machines. Is that really the case? Or did the beta build just have this date built into it already? I'm pretty sure it's the latter...

RE: "Activates"
By DigitalFreak on 7/1/2009 4:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the reboot switch was already in the software. The date is what activated it.

Sounds rather inconvenient
By Nighteye2 on 7/1/2009 9:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
How do you download the RC if your PC keeps on shutting down, interrupting the download?

Also, this move sucks for those who planned to move straight from the beta to the release version, skipping the RC. Microsoft flipped the switch too early...

RE: Sounds rather inconvenient
By Visual on 7/2/2009 3:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
The end date for using the beta was announced when it was made available to download.

Any one that decided to use experimental software on their computer should be aware of the limitations, and specifically should not make plans that rely on its functioning until the final version arrives.

And also anyone that is more than twelve years old should not cry like a baby.

By icanhascpu on 7/1/2009 4:07:33 PM , Rating: 3
/secretly keeps using 7068

I getting it first.... lol
By Dreadfrost on 7/2/2009 11:31:18 AM , Rating: 2
Ha i'm getting my copy of 7 for free with an i7 DX58OS motherboard and vista ultimate till seven is released for $300 lol. Check it out the Intel Retail Edge.

By drew494949 on 7/2/2009 9:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
That explains why.... *reboot* I've been seeing this all day. Oops.

Slow news day
By Smilin on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Slow news day
By bplewis24 on 7/1/2009 2:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you're running the Beta.


RE: Slow news day
By Smilin on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Slow news day
By Smilin on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Slow news day
By Smilin on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Slow news day
By Silverel on 7/1/2009 4:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
I believe that would be irrelevance as the main cause of your down rating.

It would be like if I posted "I like socks.", it doesn't mean anything, therefore not worth reading, and is not relevant to the article at hand. Make a comment that has substance and relevance, and I'm sure you'll see your rating go up.

RE: Slow news day
By Smilin on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
By JasonMick on 7/1/2009 3:40:06 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft apparently calls shutdowns every two hours "bi-hourly". Not sure if it's appropriate English usage/word derivation, but I figure I might as well stick with their terms. Sorry if it offends you.

Here's a link with an in depth explanation of the "bi-hourly" shutdowns --

By JDHack42 on 7/1/2009 3:57:57 PM , Rating: 4
'Cause biannual is a bad example, see here:

I get paid bi-weekly: every two weeks.

Some people get paid semi-monthly: twice a month.

oh and to settle this...

By bighairycamel on 7/1/2009 4:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
You beat me to it, although I was going to use the word "bicentennial" which means something that occurs after 200 years, usually an anniversary.

By TomZ on 7/1/2009 4:32:21 PM , Rating: 3
You guys missed the point. The point is that, when you are writing something like an article on a web site, if something is confusing, then you fix it.

Jason realized that "bi-hourly" was confusing, but instead of re-wording it, he used the same term anyway. Whether "bi-hourly" is right or wrong is irrelevant; the fact that is it unclear is all that matters.

By invidious on 7/1/2009 5:11:42 PM , Rating: 5
It is only confusing if you don't know the definition of the word, which you can say about any word.

By TomZ on 7/1/2009 5:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
The question really is whether most of your readers know the definition or not - assuming there is a single unambigious definition in the first place.

I would argue that in the case of "bi-hourly," most readers would not already know what this meant, without having to look it up.

Anyway, enough beating that dead horse.

By JasonMick on 7/1/2009 5:19:39 PM , Rating: 3
Jason realized that "bi-hourly" was confusing

Actually I didn't find it confusing, because of examples similar to what the above ops gave. In my brain bi-hourly means "two hourly" just like bicycle means "two wheels" not "half a wheel".

However, the original op sounded upset about it, and though bihourly is in the dictionary:
I am not sure if it is consistent with other words as English is a very inconsistent language. And I wasn't aiming at offense, so I apologized for the use confusing them.

Likewise, it appears you didn't like this article, so you want to vent your frustration in this thread and others. I am sorry you did not enjoy the title.

I was not trying to insult Win7, but rather make the title something interesting and accurate. The shutdowns have been described as a "kill switch" by Microsoft people I've talked to, so this seemed an appropriate choice. I've used Win7 -- both beta and RC quite a bit and I love it. Already preordered Home Premium. But if you want to perceive this factual post as an attack on Microsoft, I suppose I can't stop you!

On the other hand you did leave a lot of comments, so maybe you secretly liked it after all. ;)

By seamonkey79 on 7/1/2009 5:44:10 PM , Rating: 3
Bi-annual may mean twice per year, but it the odd one out when it comes to 'bi' and usage guru's on the web actually state that it can mean once every two years and that in such a possible case, semi-annual should be used instead.

Bicycle = two wheels
Bicentennial = two hundred years
Bi-weekly = once every two weeks
Bi-monthly = once every two months


Bi-hourly = once every two hours

By coversyl on 7/1/2009 6:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, bi-annual does mean two years.

For example, in the plant world you get annuals (they flower in the same year you plant the seed), bi-annuals (takes 2 years to flower) and perennials (flowers in perpetuity)

By noirsoft on 7/1/2009 7:06:02 PM , Rating: 3
Plus, I've seen "Semi-Annual" for things that happen once every six months.

Add "bi-sexual" to the list. They don't like people who only have half a sex. ;)

lame move
By HostileEffect on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: lame move
By icanhascpu on 7/1/2009 8:07:00 PM , Rating: 4
Are you stupid?

Just asking.

Microsoft Needs to Step It Up
By GreenTechGP on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft Needs to Step It Up
By GlobleWarmingisbunk on 7/1/2009 2:56:47 PM , Rating: 2

Greenpeace is a environment Extremist group, comprised of Eco-terrorists . I treat everything Greenpeace says, thinks, and dose like Al-Qaida . Anyway Global warming is BUNK 31,478 Scientists agree. So SHUT UP !!!!

By keiclone on 7/1/2009 3:12:11 PM , Rating: 4
replying because i accidentally rated you up. this negates my rating. yea too bad you can't take rating back w/o doing this :(

By Jabroney701020 on 7/1/2009 2:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think I care to rely on Greenpeace for anything, ever.

RE: Microsoft Needs to Step It Up
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2009 3:21:15 PM , Rating: 5
I hear Satan has an extra large pineapple for Greenpeace members.

By bighairycamel on 7/1/2009 4:07:31 PM , Rating: 4
Haha, I never thought in a million years I would see a Little Nicky reference around here. Such an obscure yet under-appreciated movie.

RE: Microsoft Needs to Step It Up
By rcc on 7/1/2009 3:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
I understand that MS was looking at distributing Windows 7 on paper cards which would be biodegradable, but there weren't enough trees in the world to make the card stock.

Oh well.

Personally, I think that a little super glue on greenpeace lips would help the CO2 levels admirably.

RE: Microsoft Needs to Step It Up
By Smilin on 7/1/2009 5:15:32 PM , Rating: 3
So they do smaller packaging with recycled materials

The product itself cuts CO2 emmissions by reducing power consumption

The whole company is on a full recycle program for EVERYTHING (sure companies do paper recycling and maybe aluminum but MS even does compost)

MS doesn't even produce that much in the way of hardware electronics.

All MS internal equipment is fully recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

They have massive charitable giving to environmental organizations from both employees and the company.

They have some of the most environmentally friendly server farms in the world (only Google is in the same league) you have any idea at all what this alone accomplishes??

Frankly I think Greenpeace is full of Sh1t. What do they actually do for anyone? They just make whaling ships emit more CO2 to steer around a bunch of terrorists in speedboats.

By pxavierperez on 7/2/2009 4:58:12 AM , Rating: 2
Greenpeace has its purpose. and at times had proven somewhat to benefit everyone. however their practices are often questionable. their fundamentalistic behavior and attitude do more damage to themselves.

Kill Switch in beta vs RC
By sagem on 7/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Kill Switch in beta vs RC
By Schrag4 on 7/1/2009 2:46:58 PM , Rating: 3
It may seem that way, but Jason has written articles that point out Apple's flaws too. The headline is a little sensationalist, though, you're right. But it got us both to read it and post comments, so I guess it did the job :-)

RE: Kill Switch in beta vs RC
By smackababy on 7/1/2009 2:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
What is negative about the article at hand? That Microsoft's end of the beta cycle shutdowns are in effect? Maybe the headline implied they hit some switch and started shutting off PCs, but nonetheless, it was nothing negative about MS at all.

RE: Kill Switch in beta vs RC
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2009 3:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
There was nothing anti-Microsoft about the article.

RE: Kill Switch in beta vs RC
By TomZ on 7/1/2009 3:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft throws the kill switch...?

He should have stated it like it really is: Windows 7 Beta Expires Today.

The former makes it sound like Microsoft arbitrarily did something from their servers that causes everyone's beta to stop working. As opposed to the time limit that was built-in and known to all from the start.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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