Try Windows 7 RC free for a year.

On May 5th the Release Candidate version of Windows 7 will be made available to the general public—it’s already available to MSDN subscribers—and if you decide to give it a try you’ll have a full year before it expires:

Windows 7 RC, slated for download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers Thursday and by the general public on May 5, doesn’t expire until June 1, 2010, 13 months from Friday, Microsoft confirmed Thursday.

When asked why the company is giving users such a long free pass for the software, a spokeswoman declined to comment.

The date had been leaked more than a month ago, when a Microsoft site temporarily posted a page that revealed other details of the upcoming RC, including a May delivery and no limit on the number of downloads.

“You don’t need to rush to get Windows 7 RC,” the leaked page read in late March. “The RC release will be available at least through June 2009 and we’re not limiting the number of product keys, so you have plenty of time.”

Vista’s RCs had relatively short trial periods, a little over 6 months, so having 13 months to dick around with Windows 7 makes for a nice change. The OS itself has already generated quite a bit of buzz with a lot of folks saying it’s what Vista should have been. I downloaded the beta myself, but never got around to installing it. I’ll be setting up my system to dual boot with the RC version once it’s available.

5 thoughts on “Try Windows 7 RC free for a year.

  1. The reason they’re doing this is because more people than usual gave back their Vista RCs.  I guess they figure if they give people more time to get used to it, fewer will want to give it back and will end up purchasing.  Maybe they’re learning.

    I’ve been keeping a Windows box for games, but I haven’t seen a game I like in almost a year, so I don’t know if I’m going to keep it much longer.  I never made the move to Vista and Windows 7; the “almost new” version doesn’t fill me with warm fuzzies.  I can’t even muster enough enthusiasm to pick on Microsoft anymore.  I’m on the verge of dropping Windows altogether and just using Mac and Linux.

    I must be getting old… smile

  2. actually, the reason they do that is so that millions of people will volunteer to test their operating system, instead of paying more QA testers. My prediction: Windows 7 won’t be any better than Vista, and may in fact end up worse. Microsoft seems to want to ignore the fact that most people today are more tech savvy than they were 20 years ago, and most people don’t want their operating system to choose how they work.

  3. Hi Les,
    When Vista was about to release I told you I counted on your opinion about these things, and your other commenters too.
    Please remember that and test it out grin
    Oh! And I saw a quotation today at and instantly thought of you. Its the one from Scott Adams.

  4. mathyoo: I doubt it will really suck. I’ve hated Windows since 95 came out. 7 will be the first version that I’m actually likely to pay money for. I’ve been a Linux user since 1997 and a Mac user since 2002. I used the first beta and was impressed. It seems Microsoft has finally done something right. It was fast and reliable. It even connected to networks that my wifi card won’t connect to in Linux or XP.

    I keep Windows around for games and a program I need for work that won’t run on Linux. I’ll be installing the Windows 7 RC as soon as I can download it.

  5. I want to see how it works after a year with a non-technical user.  Practically any OS can work when configured and maintained by experts.

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