Anybody interested in trying out Windows 7 for free has just one day left in which to get their hands on the Release Candidate.

The full version of Windows 7 will be released on 22 October this year, with Microsoft claiming it will contain a number of refinements based on user feedback.

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"Just a reminder that you have until this Thursday, August 20th 2009 to download the Windows 7 Release Candidate," notes Stephen Rose on the Windows Team blog. "After that date, you will still be able to register your product and get registration keys but, the media will no longer be available for download."

Once users have downloaded the free software they'll be able to use it until next June, when it's set to expire. However, it will become basically unusable long before them with Microsoft revealing it will begin shutting down every two hours once 1 March rolls around.

"Windows will notify you two weeks before the bi-hourly shutdowns start," Microsoft warns on its download site. "To avoid interruption, you’ll need to install a non-expired version of Windows before March 1, 2010. You’ll also need to install the programs and data that you want to use."