Windows 8 RTM leaks to Web
Hits file-sharing sites one day after Microsoft announces milestone
Computerworld - A final copy of Windows 8 leaked to the Internet on Thursday, just a day after Microsoft stamped the new operating system as finished.
Identified as Windows 8 Enterprise N -- the "N" marks it as aimed at European users -- on several BitTorrent file-sharing websites, it was unclear yesterday whether the leaked build was legitimate.
Although some who downloaded the leaked copy asserted it was an invalid build, the consensus early Friday was that it was the real deal.
"Legitimate. It works. Looks real," said one commenter on a popular file-sharing site. Numerous downloaders posted screenshots to back up their contention that the leak was the actual Windows 8.
Others vouched for it as well, including "Canouna," the nickname used by an administrator of the WinLeaked forum.
The copy is an English-language version, but according to the file-sharing sites is non-booting, meaning pirates must create installation media. Instructions for generating a DVD- or USB flash drive-based installer were posted on some of the file-sharing websites, and available elsewhere on the Internet.
Microsoft's N editions omit Windows Media Player, and are distributed throughout most of Europe as part of the mandate by European Union antitrust regulators after a 2004 decision that concluded Microsoft's bundling of the player program was anti-competitive.
Leaks of upcoming Windows releases are not uncommon. In the run-up to Windows 7's launch three years ago, pirated copies appeared regularly, from the October 2008 leak of an "alpha" version Microsoft meant only for developers to Windows 7 Release Candidate, which went public about two weeks before Microsoft officially launched the preview.
The company has avoided much of that with Windows 8, although a Chinese edition of the operating system made it to the Internet three days before Microsoft shipped the Release Candidate, the final public preview, in late May.
Previously, Microsoft has warned users not to install leaked builds, claiming that they can be infected with malware.
Some customers can obtain a non-pirated copy of Windows 8 as soon as Aug. 15, when the RTM, or "release to manufacturing" milestone -- the same code as will be installed on new PCs -- reaches the MSDN (Microsoft Developers Network) and TechNet services.
Enterprises with Software Assurance licensing plans -- Software Assurance is essentially an annuity that gives companies the right to run any version of a product -- will be able to grab Windows 8 starting Aug. 16, as will members of the Microsoft Partner Network.
Windows 8 will launch Oct. 26, with two editions in retail -- Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro -- and another, the Enterprise edition that leaked yesterday, targeting corporations with volume licensing agreements.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
- Perspective: Microsoft risks security reputation ruin by retiring XP
- Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
- Microsoft reaches RTM milestone for Windows 8.1 update
- OS upgrades: Cheap is better than pricey, free is better than cheap
- No special treatment for China on XP, patches end April 8 in the PRC, too
- Microsoft ships Office 2013 SP1 the old-fashioned way
- Microsoft's 'go-low' play puts Windows revenue on the line
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 lives!
- Users mock Microsoft for asking their help on XP-to-Windows 8.1 upgrades
- Microsoft concedes Windows 8.1 needs more for mouse, keyboard customers
Read more about Windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts