Anyone would think the last Windows package was near-universally reviled. Oh, right. Anyway, Microsoft has confirmed that with a little fiddling, users of the forthcoming Windows 7 can get 120 days’ free trial before buying.
Technically, the software offers 30 days for free, after which you have to enter an activation code to formally buy it. However, website Windows Secrets has found a loophole that allows you to reset the clock three times – similar to one found in Vista – and Microsoft has given consent for users to exploit it.
“A total of 120 days total time is available as a grace period to customers that take advantage of rearm,” said a spokesman.
Windows Secrets has explained the method: head to the Start menu, select All Programs, then Accessories, then Command Prompt.
Once the Command Prompt appears, type “slmgr –rearm”, without the quote marks. Once the computer is rebooted, the activation calendar will have been reset to zero. Bingo.
Some are speculating that Microsoft is allowing this extended freeness to give its customers plenty of time to get the hang of W7, and reassure themselves that the upgrade was worth it after the Vista debacle. Windows 7’s on sale in the UK on October 22.