Windows 7 – What happens after August 1?

by mike ~ February 3, 2009

So, this Windows 7 beta expires August 1, 2009.  I, like many, was curious what would happen then, so I changed the date to Sunday, August 2, 2009 on my Win7 virtual machine.

The first time I tried it, I got some error screen alerting me that my license had expired (or something to that effect) shortly after resetting the date to 8/2/09.  There was a red “X” to close the window, and a “cancel” button.  It happened twice, and I canceled it each time before thinking that I should take a screen shot.  However, the important thing is that after closing it, Windows still functioned just fine.

The strange thing was that not  a few minutes later, Windows had figured out today’s real date and switched it back behind my back.  The few times since that I’ve tested this, the date was automatically reset fairly quickly with no notification.  That doesn’t bode well for “turn back the clock” fixes in August for those hoping to glide by unnoticed.  But since Windows doesn’t seem to self-destruct on 8/2, that might be ok.

Disabling the network adapter stopped Windows from figuring out the date, but 20 minutes now after doing so, I’m still yet to get any nags/notices from the OS about the expiration of the beta.  The notice about Windows being for “testing purposes only” in the bottom right of the desktop (above the systray), has now been augmented with a warning that “This copy of Windows is not genuine.”

On rebooting the virtual machine, Windows figured out the proper date, but also presented me with a popup telling me that Windows might not be genuine.  Of course, it vanished again before I could grab a screen shot with the “Snipping Tool”.  The desktop notice about not being genuine is also gone.  Crazy stuff.

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