Windows 7 Beta Shuts Down Next Week - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

Windows 7 Beta Shuts Down Next Week

Microsoft wants those using the trial version of its next OS to switch to the Release Candidate.

Microsoft is urging consumers who are using the beta version of its Windows 7 operating system to switch to the more fully developed Release Candidate as the Windows 7 Beta will enter its expiration period next week.

Windows 7 screen shot
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"Still on Windows 7 Beta? You need to move to the RC and fast," Microsoft's Stephen Rose said in a blog post Tuesday.

Users who continue with Windows 7 Beta beyond next week are in for a nasty surprise. "Starting July 1, the Beta will start to reboot every 2 hours and expire Aug 1st," wrote Rose. Microsoft will continue to offer Windows 7 RC as a free download until Aug. 15.

Windows 7 RC is close to the final version of Windows 7 that Microsoft plans to release on Oct. 22. Windows 7 RC will function until June 1, 2010.

Microsoft last week released a beta version of a toolkit for businesses mulling an upgrade of their desktop systems to the Windows 7 operating system.

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit version 4.0 is designed to analyze computers and other devices on a network to determine if they're compatible with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and other software products, including Microsoft Office 2007.

MAP also identifies candidates for virtualization, power-saving opportunities, and security vulnerabilities.

MAP can be downloaded from Microsoft's TechNet Web site. The company has not stated when a final version of the tool would be available.

Microsoft is counting on Windows 7 to erase memories of Vista, which flopped in the business market and drew numerous gripes from consumers. Complaints ranged from Vista's intrusive security measures to its heavy desktop footprint.

Windows 7 is said to be lighter and easier to use than its predecessor. It also includes slick new tools that improve everyday tasks such as desktop searches and PC-to-PC file transfers.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

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