Microsoft Windows 7 users wanting to avoid activating their copy of the software when it becomes available on 22 October will be able to do so for 120 days Microsoft has confirmed.

Although Microsoft will prompt users to activate their copy of the new OS a number of times over the course of the first 30 days, a little known command can reset the 30-day timer up to three times.

(type "slmgr -rearm" command at a Windows 7 command prompt if you're really that interested.)

It sounds perfectly plausible, however we can't really see why you would want to run it for 120 days without activation, especially considering that you've probably bought it anyway.

Pirates I hear you cry with a bottle of grog and a parrot sitting on your shoulder.

Well yes, but lets face it, you've been able to download the full beta and RC1 versions since January and the latest, the RC1 runs, admittedly with caveats until March 2010, so if you were that bothered you would have downloaded those, and anyway who wants to have to get a pirated copy every 120 days just to save themselves £70?

The 120 day extension really is only going to appeal to those who like to feel as if they are living on the edge. The bending the rules of an operating system edge.

Personally the notion of daily pop-ups telling me to activate my software would be nothing short of annoying.

Unfortunately if you haven’t downloaded the company's Windows 7 RC1 version, then you'll have to look on the darker side of the Internet as the last download date was Thursday 20 August.

Shiver me timbers.