Microsoft is to begin bi-hourly shutdowns of the Release Candidate version of Windows, a process which is set to continue until 1 June.
We notified you last week that this was about to begin but the official date for the shutdowns is today – 1 March.
Up until 1 June these shutdowns will take place, then they will be replaced with a permanent 'cheapskate' branding on your computer.
This will come in the form of your wallpaper being removed, in its place the statement: "This copy of Windows is not genuine" will appear.
If you have managed to wing your way through the bi-hourly shutdown by saving your work every other hour and waiting for a restart, then you will not be allowed to do any updates or downloads that need Windows validation.
In short, you are going to have to buy a copy of Windows 7 and do a clean install. Or, if you are really desperate to keep Windows 7 on the cheap, Microsoft is allowing a 90-day trial of its Windows 7 Enterprise edition – but this is recommended for IT professionals only.
But this is just delaying the inevitable, so you might as well cough up the money for the OS at some point.
Article continues below