Microsoft Windows 7 beta shut down bungle

Microsoft has issued an amendment to its Windows 7 beta testing programme stating that users who downloaded the software will be able to continue using it until July.

An email sent from Microsoft this morning apologises for the error and states that, rather than commencing periodic shutdowns from next week, Windows 7 beta will do so from 1 July.

Windows 7 logoA newsletter email from Microsoft HQ headed 'Exploring Windows 7 - Correction' was sent out to beta users today outlining the dates involved.

The body text of the email message reads: "Because you signed up to test the Windows 7 Beta, we recently sent you mail about the expiration dates for the Beta and Release Candidate. Unfortunately, we made a mistake.

"We said the Beta would start shutting down every two hours on 1 June, 2009. The correct date is 1 July, 2009."

The auto-shutdowns start date for the Windows 7 Release Candidate remains as originally stated - 1 March 2010.

Although information published on the web - and, indeed, outlined in the latest issue of PC Advisor - has made it clear that the beta of Windows 7 expires fully on 1 August with shutdowns happening without warning throughout July, Microsoft seems not to have given those who downloaded the beta software the same information.

Microsoft managed to confused some beta testers by issuing an email last weekend warning them that their Windows 7 beta trial was close to expiration. Yesterday, Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc issued a clarification on the Windows 7 blog while today beta testers have received a correction email.

The Windows 7 beta code was offered as a freely available download for a two-month period from January this year.

At the end of April, the RC1 version of Windows 7 (the feature-complete version of the operating system) went live. This can be downloaded from Microsoft's Windows 7 site. Users will be able to make full use of it until next year.

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