Just when we thought Microsoft was getting uncharacteristically generous, we got this nasty surprise: that free Windows 7 release candidate Microsoft is giving away to everyone today has a nasty time bomb ticking inside it. Beginning on March 1, 2010, the operating system will begin shutting down every two hours. If you're using one of the beta versions of Windows 7, the hourly shutdown game starts much sooner, on July 1, 2009.
Hey, wait a minute. This is the first we've heard of this two-hour shutdown deal. It seems like Microsoft would've mentioned something about this when we were loading up the beta version of the software. Nevertheless, perhaps Microsoft wants to give users a chance to offload their data if they don't plan to continue using Windows 7 after the trial period expires.
This is a sneaky trick. Certainly hackers are already working on ways to circumvent this bi-hourly shutdown nonsense. But look on the bright side: you get to use Windows 7 free for 10 months, unfettered. Not as good as the 13 months we thought, but better than nothing. The next bomb to drop: pricing for a Windows 7.