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I currently have Windows 7 RC, I have had it for months and I am wanting to save up and purchase a new SSD harddrive before I get the newest windows release. SO I am wanting to know how much longer windows RC will work and once the expiration comes, what will happen if I have not upgraded yet?

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According to Tom's Hardware: The Windows 7 RC will expire on June 1, 2010. However, beginning on March 1, 2010, your machine will be subject to "bihourly" shutdowns (every two hours).

As to what happens after that, I don't think further details have been released. Windows will no longer be licensed (triggering WGA), and you will have the bihourly shutdowns to deal with, but other than that -- only time will tell?

According to Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc (Source):

"On June 1, 2010, if you are still on the Windows 7 RC, your license for the Windows 7 RC will expire and the non-genuine experience is triggered."

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Probably that means you will not be able to get Windows Updates –  Daniel H Dec 10 '09 at 21:29

The expiration date is June 1st 2010 although you will be prewarned of the expiration 2 weeks before March 1st 2010. On March 1st 2010 your computer will begin shutting down every 2 hours, and it will no longer be accessible on June 1st. If you care about your files, make sure to back them up before then (unless you use a Linux LiveCD, then you can read the partition at any time to grab your files).

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I don't think "will no longer be accessible" is necessarily true. Expiration will trigger WGA which will give you the lovely black background and such. –  Kenneth Murphy Dec 10 '09 at 20:02
    
Thats Windows XP. I think after shutting down for 2 hours, for 3 months, it's not just going to change your background. The shutdowns are a signal for you to get your files off the machine -- I don't see them simply changing your background after that period. –  John T Dec 10 '09 at 20:07
    
I just wonder what could be more of a "non-genuine experience" than having the PC shut down every two hours (which happens before the license actually expires). –  Kenneth Murphy Dec 10 '09 at 20:12

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