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Windows 7 Will Be Free For a Year

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the still-to-expensive dept.

528

Barence writes "Microsoft is effectively giving away Windows 7 free for a year with the launch of the Release Candidate. The Release Candidate is now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, and will go on unlimited, general release on 5 May. The software will not expire until 1 June 2010, giving testers more than a year's free access to Windows 7. 'It's available to as many people who see fit to use it, although we wouldn't recommend it to just your average user,' John Curran, director of the Windows Client Group told PC Pro. 'We'd very strongly encourage anyone on the beta to move to the Release Candidate.'"

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Good idea (4, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772175)

Sounds like a good idea to me! Can't think of anything wrong with it, but I trust someone will come up with something.

Re:Good idea (5, Funny)

platypussrex (594064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772219)

Didn't your mom warn you about that? "They give you one for free, and then when they have you hooked....wham!"

Re:Good idea (3, Insightful)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772395)

Windows a gateway drug?

Re:Good idea (5, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772555)

First they start you on 7, then Windows Server and Vista, and before you know it you have a full install of Windows ME.

Death to Pirates? (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772667)

Windows a gateway drug?

No it's more of a Dell drug.

This is actually a wonderful idea for them. it lowers the barrier for the transition. Even companies can push their costs forward in time.

But i'm thinking of all the pirates in asia. The street vendors with virus laden bootlegs will be competing against free. this will hurt their market. Then a year later what will the chinese consumer do? He could go out an buy a bootleg and re-install his system or he could buy a keycode and continue with his current system state. in many cases the idea of re-installing a system would be daunting enough to suddenly make the key code seem cheap.

Re:Death to Pirates? (5, Interesting)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772807)

If my experience with Asians from less wealthy nations (esp. Sth East Asians) is worth anything, the majority of them will still just buy bootleg as that is the only system they really know or its just the way they do things. Unless they actually see a real reason to download 3gig or more, burn it to a DVD etc they'll just go to the market and buy a bootleg for 40 rupees (call it a dollar).

Re:Good idea (0)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772761)

Apple should do the same thing with SnowLeopard. ... oh wait.

Re:Good idea (1, Insightful)

sgbett (739519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772221)

Desperate Co. is desperate.

Re:Good idea (5, Insightful)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772365)

Actually, to me it sounds more like confidence than desperation. They are expecting people to go out and pay for it AFTER using it for a year and deciding if they like it or not. Quite the opposite of going out and buying a new OS, then you're S.O.L. if you don't like it, and you've wasted $100+.

Re:Good idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772655)

Actually, to me it sounds more like confidence than desperation. They are expecting people to go out and pay for it AFTER using it for a year and deciding if they like it or not. Quite the opposite of going out and buying a new OS, then you're S.O.L. if you don't like it, and you've wasted $100+.

No, desperate is more accurate. This is the only way to wash away the stench of Vista and keep people from looking at alternatives.

Re:Good idea (2, Interesting)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772747)

I don't think so (personal opinion here). I bought a new computer 2 months ago that had Vista preinstalled after using XP since it came out. So far for me Vista is every bit as stable as XP. People will download Windows 7 and they will either like it or they won't. If it sucks, it doesn't matter what people are using at the time, they won't switch. And if people are THAT desperate to get away from Vista, they can just go back to XP (something that I thought I would want to do when faced with buying a machine with Vista preinstalled).

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772821)

They expect you to uninstall your current OS, and either be too lazy to reinstall it or have the licenses conveniently "run out" (Windows XP). "Woops, it looks like you've installed this on too many computers, you're out of luck!"

Re:Good idea (5, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772273)

OK, I'll bite.

This reminds of what Bill G. said about people illegally using Windows in China. MS would rather give you the first hit free
so you get hooked. When you come crawling back for more to feed your habit then they'll charge you for it.

Sorry but MS has violated the publics trust so many times I just can't ever see anything good in their marketing attempts.

Re:Good idea (2, Insightful)

passionplay (607862) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772339)

Did you miss the boat? This is called a loss-leader. It's designed to combat Linux by saturating the market with a "cost-free" variant of Windows, which makes the average user go get it. "It's Windows - it must be good. It's been around for years." Then once they have you hooked, they charge you for the rest because it costs you too much intellectually to use something else. The built-in expiry means that as of 2010, you have a few million guaranteed sales of people that have gotten addicted to their Windows 7 environment. This is how Dealers keep their Junkies at their mercy. See post #2. The first one is free. So that you come back and pay for more.

Re:Good idea (1, Troll)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772889)

So? Good for them, right?

Re:Good idea (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772371)

Oh so you really see no relation between adopting the biggest pro (for common users) of FOSS, thus making it free, and maintaining the dependency that's created when the majority uses a standard, so that in the end they may collect license fees from those depended. All this during an economic crisis, not to forget.

Did you even stop to think or did you just flamebait?

Re:Good idea (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772927)

Did you even stop to think or did you just flamebait?

Wow, I can't believe the abysmallity of such comments. I'm talking about "good for Microsoft". Sorry I forgot for a minute that what was good for Microsoft was by definition bad for the whole of mankind, therefore making my characterisation as "good" ambiguous.

Re:Good idea (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772479)

Marketing wise, I'm not so sure it's a good idea. Even though it's labeled as "not for everybody", this same group will install it and will have a whole year to complain and destroy any credibility this thing could have had.

I think it's a silly and quite risky move on MS' part.

Re:Good idea (2, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772633)

Bad idea? It implies:
  - blogosphere ablaze with reviews. Just add a pinch of astroturfing.
  - free beta testing.
  - new users get familiar with the interface, it's time to move off xp.

I say this is a good move. Of course it would never have happened if linux weren't good on the desktop. Their management probably panicked seeing a flawless sidux install on hd in under 3 minutes or something like that.

Re:Good idea (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772607)

quoting lazarus long:

"Anything free is worth what you pay for it."

Re:Good idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772893)

Lazarus must have been talking about Linux.

Offline Gaming machine (-1, Offtopic)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772181)

So if I wanted to build an offline gaming machine for my 4 year old, I just have to keep setting the data backwards. (or reinstalling)

Of course, graphics based games are the most likely programs to be sensitive to a new OS.

Re:Offline Gaming machine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772271)

Even if you find a way to keep it going by hacking out the time-bomb or setting the date back you still wouldn't have a license to use the software after the 1 year expiration date comes and goes. If you're going to use unlicensed software you might as go in whole-hog and take a copy from wherever torrent sites kids hang out these days. If the penalties for software piracy scare you then consider shoplifting: first offense is community service hours, and that's only if you're caught. If the software is good enough to go through the hassle of screwing around like that then it's worth paying for. If it's not, there are perfectly servicable options from other vendors including various flavors of Linux, BeOS^WHaiku, BSD, Solaris, OS X, etc. There's no need to get your children hooked on Windows before they're in the first grade.

Re:Offline Gaming machine (1, Insightful)

Viadd (173388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772301)

Your 4-year-old's account shouldn't have administrator access.

If you gave his account administrator access, neither should you.

Re:Offline Gaming machine (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772457)

Your 4-year-old's account shouldn't have administrator access.

If you gave his account administrator access, neither should you.

Funny you should say that. A while ago I took my four year old daughter to a museum, and let her play with a touch-screen information terminal. In a couple of seconds she (somehow) had control panel up! It may take a thousand monkeys a million years to write Shakespeare, but it seems to take ten seconds for a four-year old to find any "backdoor access" or other options that should not be available.

Re:Offline Gaming machine (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772875)

Please ask her to document it. ;-)

Time traveling in Animal Crossing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772635)

So if I wanted to build an offline gaming machine for my 4 year old, I just have to keep setting the data backwards.

If by "data" you mean "date", you break games whose rules depend on the calendar. I don't know of any specific titles like this on Windows, but one on GameCube, DS, and Wii is the Animal Crossing series.

So close... (3, Funny)

cnvandev (1538055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772193)

It's just one more step to open source! I'll start holding my breath now!

Re:So close... (2, Funny)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772313)

i can only imagine what the inside of windows looks like

----------

if( ::isBalmers() == true ){

  throw ChairException();
}
else{

    System.Win32.bsod();
}

Re:So close... (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772443)

...waiting for blue face of death...

embrace extend (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772203)

I'll give you the first one free. And if you want more, come back to me.

At least a year (5, Funny)

sskagent (1170913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772231)

Well it will take me at least a year to get all my drivers updated and installed, so this really doesn't help me.

XP Free for a year? (5, Interesting)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772239)

Will this include XP as a VM for a year as well?

Re:XP Free for a year? (2, Informative)

weszz (710261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772289)

If you do the ultimate, you should be able to download it.

It's for business and ultimate only, plus you need to be able to do hardware virtualization as well, so my work PC isn't able to, my boss picked the wrong processor to buy us... only one in the line that doesn't do it.

Re:XP Free for a year? (2, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772337)

"It's available to as many people who see fit to use it, although we wouldn't recommend it to just your average user,"

Oh, I see what you did there. By implying it's not for everyone, you're hoping to get everyone to try it so that they feel a cut above the average user. It's a far slicker move than most of Microsoft's last decade of marketing who carpet bombed the PC market to get every single person alive on windows.

Re:XP Free for a year? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772497)

Oh, I see what you did there. By implying it's not for everyone, you're hoping to get everyone to try it so that they feel a cut above the average user.

Well it works for Linux. Oh no, wait...

Re:XP Free for a year? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772453)

I believe that the VM is freely downloadable for all users, but none of them come with an XP licence yet. I read somewhere that the final release will only differ by giving Pro and upwards the free XP licence: the VM will be available to anybody who has an XP licence to stick on it. That report is not substantiated though.

Re:XP Free for a year? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772559)

Will this include XP as a VM for a year as well?

Yeah, that's about how long the poor old Pirate Bay's got left in it.

Fascinating (1, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772283)

So you get people hooked in with a free release, then hijack them after a year with no good downgrade path and thus no access to their data (modulo switching operating systems) unless they pay up?

I'm impressed. I didn't think MS could sink any lower.

Re:Fascinating (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772489)

It sounds like you don't like the idea. It's good that you're not forced to take them up on it.

Unsuccessful troll is unsuccessful.

Re:Fascinating (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772595)

Actually the Win7 RC doesn't have any path to the full, licenced version of Win7 at the end of the testing period, because it's released for testing, not as a freebie.

Re:Fascinating (4, Insightful)

cabjf (710106) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772707)

They're just scared to death that no one will upgrade, just like with Vista. They probably hope that if enough people are trying for free at home, they'll want it at work and on their next computer. Then they might be able to finally sunset XP.

Re:Fascinating (2, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772733)

So you get people hooked in with a free release, then hijack them after a year with no good downgrade path and thus no access to their data ...

One more reason why every family computer geek should stress the importance of regular backups, especially before taking major steps like upgrading one's operating system.

Re:Fascinating (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772751)

If I install Windows 7 RC on anything, it'll be a virtual machine. If I get downgraded, I just kill the VM, and no harm done.

Re:Fascinating (2, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772783)

Who doesn't keep all their data on a seperate drive these days? I mean yeah I download crap to the desktop to filter later, but anything I might keep for more than 60 days is immediately saved to the D: drive. Virus? No problem, just reinstall windows + specific apps. 2 hours down the drain, but you know your virus problem is nixed. Windows 7 RC expired? Just re-install XP.

Re:Fascinating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772789)

:lol: Nice troll.

Yes, EVIL Microsoft doing an open public beta. How dare they?

Re:Fascinating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772847)

>So you get people hooked in with a free release, then hijack them after a year with no good downgrade path

Are you talking about Windows or Linux?

Zing!

Re:Fascinating (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772919)

Couldn't the same be said of Linux? Hook you for free but then if you want to change OS you're stuck?

It doesn't make sense does it? Neither does your "insightful" comment. Data files are free to roam, however plenty of programs are locked to a particular OS.

Brilliant Marketing Plan (1)

pfleming (683342) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772287)

However, Curran believes that Windows 7 has already lifted much of the negativity that surrounded its predecessor. "The positive energy and momentum is quite a bit higher than it was in the Vista timeframe," Curran conceded. "People are excited about Windows 7."

Turn people off to Vista, then when they think you are done and they will never run anything Microsoft again, turn out a decent OS, or at least one better than the one before. Nothing makes this look better than how bad Vista looks.

Re:Brilliant Marketing Plan (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772553)

My main problem with the Windows 7 beta so far hasn't been the operating system. Nvidia has no Windows 7 drivers for my motherboard, which is a fairly recent motherboard.

Without adequate driver support I can't gauge Windows 7 performance. With the default drivers it takes longer to move files onto a thumb drive than it does to download data off the net*.

Hopefully Nvidia will release drivers before Windows 7 goes on sale.

*Downloading off cable modem, my download cap is 880kbps

Re:Brilliant Marketing Plan (1)

PenguinBob (1208204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772679)

They have partial support for my 680i motherboard. It doesn't have the network adapter combining feature yet, but it has the other stuff.

its not free (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772291)

MSDN and technet require very expensive subscriptions (never mind the absurdity of paying to test another companies apps)

and does this apply to the public beta testers who dont have the luxury of handing over thousands to test Microsofts apps ?

Re:its not free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772391)

expensive or not depends on your stance...

250 a year to legally run your 5 win 2008 servers and get the latest OS included?

to cover 2 computers for a few years of "testing" for 250? that's the cost of the buying 1 OS outright without getting access to the server OSs, the other apps and things like that.

From that standpoint, i'm testing for a long time to keep up with technology for work, calling it a tax writeoff and moving on.

Re:its not free (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772403)

Technet is 349.00 for the first year / 249.00 per year after that. That isn't expensive.

Oooh, NICE counter! (0, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772601)

You counter his argument that it is not free by pointing out it is MERELY 250 bucks a year...

Who would have thought FREE would become such a complex concept to some people.

Free == 0 bucks. No money. Nada. Zip. Zero.

If MSDN required a postal stamp it would NOT be free.

Mind you, I am not sure this RC requires a subscription in any case so you might both be blowing smoke.

Re:its not free (4, Informative)

jtdennis (77869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772409)

The public beta will be out May 5th [winsupersite.com] . Paying for MSDN or Technet gets you early access. I wouldn't have a Technet account except my work got it as part of their MS license deal.

Re:its not free (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772421)

Read the summary: it's available only to subscribers until May 5. After that, it's in general release.

Like Crack (0, Redundant)

sheepofblue (1106227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772303)

The first hit is free

Free? Ugh. (-1, Flamebait)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772325)

Microsoft would have to pay me to put their garbage software on my hardware.

Ballmer's strategy (4, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772341)

This could be Ballmer's strategy against Linux as he repeatedly has said that you can't beat Linux' price.

With this they will surely retain the market share, in a recession, for an otherwise very expensive product; it costs more than one third of a new pc.

Free? (1)

Warlord88 (1065794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772349)

I haven't tried it yet. Is it that good or that bad?

Re:Free? (1)

reashlin (1370169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772759)

It's almost what Vista wanted to be...minus WinFS...though they have tried to bodge similar functionality into explorer...

I actually quite like it...as far as I can like windows.

Its the best version of windows so far - even including server 2000

I'm not really selling it am I :(

Too expensive (1, Troll)

LatencyKills (1213908) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772351)

Free seems to me to still be too expensive to deal with M$ latest bug laden release (at least up until the first or second serious patch comes along). I didn't move from 98 to XP for my machine until SP1 came out. I wonder if they'd be willing to pay me to live through their forced release growing pains.

Re:Too expensive (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772437)

I used to take an even more conservative approach before I stopped using Windows. I would wait for the beta of the next OS to come out before moving to the last one. Generally that signaled that the old release was actually stable. I was actually fairly happy w/Win2k, but I'm a lot happier with Ubuntu.

Re:Too expensive (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772797)

Depends where you're coming from, I suppose.

I have an HP TouchSmart PC at home, for example. Windows XP isn't even a viable option for it, because HP doesn't offer any touchscreen drivers for XP, only Vista. Windows 7, however, is also supposed to have support for its touchscreen and utilities.

Vista has been a nightmare on the system, though. Practically nothing I've tried to use as a peripheral with it has worked properly!

(Ironically, after going through 3 different USB modems I had, trying to get one to work as a faxmodem on it - the ONLY thing I got to work at all was an APPLE USB modem dongle! I had to load all of Apple's "Boot Camp" drivers into Vista to get it to detect it properly, but it worked.)

Other example of spectacular failures include my Canon "Canoscan" USB scanner, which actually claims to have Vista support, but I never got Canon's Vista driver to work properly on it, and my HP 2550N Color LaserJet printer, for which HP seem to have no "toolbox" type utility software for it -- hence I can't figure out why the printer is only printing one test page (of 3 total that should come out), and just blinks an orange "attention" light any time I send it a normal print job.

If Windows 7 RC1 will run on the TouchSmart, it's well worth at least trying it for free, to see if it has more compatibility with the things I need to use. If not, well - it was free to try. If so, great... might even be worth paying for it in a year, if I'm still getting use out of the machine.

Re:Too expensive (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772953)

I know I shouldn't be replying to someone calling MS M$, as it reflects on their maturity level, but even Windows 7 beta is pretty bug free. I installed it on my laptop to test it out, but it worked surprisingly well and impressed me, so I am using it as the main OS for the past few months without encountering any major bugs.

Fishing (0, Offtopic)

ArcticCheetah (1537823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772361)

First drop a bait,next hook,line,sinker. Let someone smoke weed until they become addicted, next sell weed to them at exorbitant prices.

Re:Fishing (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772469)

Don't smoke weed much huh? lol

Re:Fishing (3, Informative)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772523)

*sigh*

At least pick an addictive drug next time.

Re:Fishing (0, Offtopic)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772551)

Should have picked Heroin, bub. Weed isn't physically addictive, and only very dubious research results have shown mental addiction.

No citations. Go find the data yourself if you want proof.

Re:Fishing (1, Offtopic)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772577)

I smokeded the ganja till I was addicted......to Nacho Cheese Doritos!

Re:Fishing (3, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772665)

Weed isn't addicting in the physical sense that you are probably referring to. I have stopped for years when necessary with no trouble. The drug you are looking for is crack/meth/coke.

Re:Fishing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772793)

In after feeding of obvious troll!

In other news, my brother died after overdosing on Marijuana.

He was invited by the 'cool kids' to hang out at some kid's house whose liberal parents had left for the weekend.

My brother, always a moral and thoughtful individual, wanted to attend because it was one of those massive house parties that he'd never been to.

Well, as was later recalled by some of his friends at the party, he was pressured into smoking marijuana. He ended up smoking the entire pack of marijuana cigarettes.

Not long after he went into convulsions and started foaming at the mouth. The people at the party held back calling 9/11 for almost 10 minutes.

When the paramedics finally arrived they could do nothing to save him.

The autopsy revealed he had 3 times the lethal dosage of THC in his blood.

But I'm sure everyone here will deny my story and the facy that my brother died after smoking that illegal narcotic.

Not even tempted... (1)

JoshDmetro (1478197) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772471)

My place is a microsoft-free zone. The only microsoft product I have is Flight Sim for dos 2.0 unopened and my old win 3.11 disks but they are just conversation pieces.

Errr.. (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772483)

It's available to as many people who see fit to use it, although we wouldn't recommend it to just your average user

If this is a release candidate, they are basically admitting the end product won't be for the "average user".

Re:Errr.. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772579)

They're saying "Don't use it unless you know what you're doing, we're still bug-fixing. No more new features, but there might be some security holes. Pro's only, please."

isn't this SOP for Windows pre-releases and betas? (1, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772517)

I don't see what's new here. So the latest version will self destruct in one year, then what? Or maybe they are releasing it to the public instead of leaking it like they normally do?

Nothing here, move along. Move along. IMO.

LoB

Your first hit is free.... (0, Redundant)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772529)

Your next one will cost kid, but you'll thank me for it later.

Free with "minor" caveats (4, Insightful)

Ralish (775196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772539)

"Microsoft is effectively giving away Windows 7 free for a year with the launch of the Release Candidate.

It's only free if you don't value bug fixes, security updates, product support and potentially all manner of issues installing software that will be released for Windows 7 RTM on a pre-release version no-one will have done significant product testing on and won't care to help you with if you run into problems.

Keeping all this in mind, and the fact this is pre-release development code, it's not hard to see why this release is free. I do find it odd that it's got such a generous expiration date, but approaching this as a free (time-limited) lunch is probably a fairly bad idea for all the reasons above.

If you like it, but don't want to pay for it, just pirate it. You'll be better off, and so may many others when they don't have to worry about your compromised box congesting their network, because it was exploited by a flaw MS has no intention of fixing in pre-release code.

Priceless (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772543)

"freeasinshit"

The level of humour you can stuff into a tag never ceases to amaze me.

Free? (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772549)

Are Microsoft trying the Linux business model? LOL

Re:Free? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772935)

Are Microsoft trying the Linux business model?

Linux is free as in libre, not gratis. (Although it is frequently gratis, it doesn't have to be.)

Love it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772587)

Love Windows 7. Been using it as my primary OS since build 7000. Almost lost hope for MS with the ugly bloated overdue Vista but this one is really good. Been using the RC 64 for almost a week now and it feels solid.

Like the old gag about the change bank says.. (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772639)

How do we make money? Volume!

Let's ask the experts (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772649)

So, free Windows 7 for a year? What would Frank, the Homeless Guy [youtube.com] say about that?

Personally I'm going to hold out for Blake's 7 instead.

You've got to love this (5, Funny)

FritzSolms (859937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772659)

Absolutely love this on today's BBC article on Windows 7. "We were able to shave 400 milliseconds off the shutdown time by slightly trimming the WAV file shutdown music. "It's indicative of really the level and detail and scrutiny on Windows 7."

no thanks! (0, Troll)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772661)

the last time i tried winxp (i doubt 7 will be any nicer) i made a ntfs disk partition with cfdisk while running linux on the first primary partition (/dev/sda1) 20 gigs, i rebooted with the XP disk, and it wanted to format the ntfs partition (/dev/sda1) but when i finished the installation and booted XP it completely wiped every partition on that disk which is a 500 gig disk with several partitions & another OS & lots of data on it all gone, i took that XP disk and run it through a shredder and wiped XP off that disk and restored my partitions & OS from my backup drive, fuck microsoft and the OS they rode in on if they can not play nicely with other OSs i dont want anything to do with them anymore...

Re:no thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772799)

yeah, way to go! blame microsoft because you made an amateur's mistake.

Re:no thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772905)

It sounds like you did not do any of that correctly. If you did, XP would not have wiped the data in any other partition besides the one you specify. You, sir, should try reading the manual next time.

Also, use whatever OS you want, no one really cares.

Competing with themselves. (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772683)

Microsoft isn't concerned about "hooking" people. They accomplished that decades ago. Microsoft's problem is that people are hooked on XP. They spent a whackload of money on Vista, and nobody went for it. (By nobody, I mean corporations. Everybody who bought a new machine was forced to get it, but even then many switched back to XP.) Now, they've spent another whackload of money on Win7, and they want corporations to buy it. They want people to move off of the XP platform. This free windows is the bait to get them to switch.

Frankly, I don't know if it'll work. Windows XP works fine. It's an operating system. All it has to do is run applications and manage resources. It does that well enough for most people and corporations, so why switch?

Will it work under virtualization? (1)

jrand (539209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772703)

There is some free software I've been wanting to run that only works under windows... this might finally give me a reason to install Parallels on my Macbook.

And worth exactly what you pay for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27772719)

'nuf said?

A Mac OS X Leopard clone, three years later?

Snow Leopard will be out soon, then wait another three years for Redmond to copy that.

Dope? (2, Interesting)

dem0n1 (1170795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772745)

So Microsoft's OS division is now reduced to copying the business plan of heroin dealers?

Didn't microsoft pull this stunt before.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772765)

.... back in the late 1980's with Windows 3.0?

I always had my suspicions... (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772787)

...that one day Microsoft would not even be able to give it away. If the comments to this latest article are taken as truth I believe we have officially reached that crescendo here and now. I now feel vindicated in having my formerly biased opinion.

I'll be nice enough to "give" Microsoft a free clue though. Nobody likes having the rug pulled out from under them. Deje Vous? This HAS happened to me before with those useless OEM re-installation disks. When the "free" installation stops running, and I have erased my older OS's which won't even reinstall, what do I do then? You guessed it, and it won't be Windows(tm).

Imagine this (2, Insightful)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772857)

A story about Windows is posted on Slashdot and all the comments are usless dribble about M$ being buggy and instable. I think I see a parrallel between the way the media is covering the Swine Flu and how Linux users cover Windows stories...Can we please stay on topic here...

What is the (anti)benefit of a company putting out a beta like this for a long period of time?

I installed Linux and I feel so much better now.
 
    Dennis Leary
 

Why such moronic ititles and summaries? (4, Interesting)

trifish (826353) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772865)

They're not giving you Windows 7 for free. They allow anyone to use a beta version of Windows 7 for one year. And, yes, RC is still beta. Microsoft has admitted that they falsely and intentionally label the last few betas as RCs to make hardware vendors to test their hardware and write proper drivers before a RTM build is created.

The only purpose of this /. submission is to make money on ads or something I suppose (I didn't follow any link, I confess, as I don't follow misleading and moronic articles).

Re:Why such moronic ititles and summaries? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772915)

I agree, this was a stupid submission. The RC isn't going to be supported with security fixes, etc. for the year, and I have noticed bugs that also won't be fixed ('cause it's not the release).

Hmmm (1)

cdgeorge (775179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27772887)

I bet this will convince some of the PC dealers to ship with Windows 7 instead of XP.
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