Microsoft hits kill switch on Windows 7 RC

Microsoft has announced that it will summarily delete the data of anyone still using the Windows 7 Release Candidate tryout from March this year.

Users of the free trial of the OS, which was installed by millions of unpaid beta testers running up to the official release last year, will receive on-screen notifications that their copy of Windows 7 is not genuine, and thus unsupported from February 15th.

Anyone who doesn't pony up for a full copy of the software by March 15th will have their machine automatically shut down every two hours until they comply.

Microsoft says that any unsaved data will be deleted without further warning during these automated crashes.

Even if you do bite the bullet and switch to a paid-for version of Windows 7, your data is still under fire as the migration requires a clean install of the full OS.