Users still toying with the Release Candidate (build 7100) of Windows 7--unleashed back in May 2009—will begin to see bi-hourly shutdowns beginning March 1. This means that Microsoft's free pre-release will suggest that users upgrade to a retail version, and then automatically shut down the PC every two hours. Let's face it: although the ride was fun, it's now time to pay the cab fare.
Of course, there will be many users trying to hold on until the very last second. That's ok—the software police won't drag you away in handcuffs. Instead, Microsoft will make the Windows 7 experience even more unpleasant (as if shutting down every two hours wasn't bad enough).
According to Ars Technica, June 1 will trigger a "non-genuine experience," thus revoking your Windows 7 license to drive, and removing your favorite wallpaper by replacing the backdrop with the message "This copy of Windows is not genuine" plastered at the lower right corner of the desktop.
Users of the Windows 7 RC will begin to see a kindly reminder starting February 15, letting you know on a daily basis that it's time to pull out the big bucks for the retail version. For consumers who still want to catch a free ride on the Windows 7 express, it's unofficially recommended to locate and install the Windows 7 RTM (build 7600) which was unleashed unto RC users in October 2009.