Vista SP1, Server 2008 RTMs leak to Web

Pirates get the new operating systems, but paying customers don't

Paying customers may not get their hands on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) for weeks, but pirates can download the brand-new code today, according to searches at several BitTorrent trackers.

The RTM, or release to manufacturing, versions of both operating systems can easily be found on BitTorrent tracker sites such as Pirate Bay, which has made them available since yesterday.

One torrent of Microsoft's newest server operating system, Windows Server 2008, lists 42 "seeders," the term for a computer that has a complete copy of the torrent file, and nearly 190 "leechers," or computers that have downloaded only part of the complete torrent. The Windows Server 2008 torrent installs a 60-day trial edition, according to users on Pirate Bay who have downloaded the 2.5GB disk image.

Vista SP1, meanwhile, is even more popular. The most active torrent located using Pirate Bay listed 163 seeds and almost 500 leechers by mid-day Wednesday. Another tracker, Mininova.org, showed similar numbers: 159 seeders and 665 leechers.

Pirate Bay reported the file as 2.9GB in size, while users who successfully downloaded the image warned others that it was not an upgrade per se. "This torrent is a complete install of Windows Vista including SP1. So there will be no option to upgrade," said a commenter on Pirate Bay using the alias "Soulshot." "You'll have to backup [sic] your Documents/Music/Pictures/Favorites, install the .iso to a DVD, restart and run the DVD. Which will erease [sic] everthing [sic] on your primary hard disk."

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 moved to RTM on Monday, when CEO Steve Ballmer touted both milestones during a conference call with financial analysts. Vista SP1, however, won't land on the company's download site until mid-March because of problems with device drivers, while the official launch for Windows Server 2008 has been set for Feb. 27. Neither operating system can currently be legally obtained by the public.

Microsoft is no stranger to leaks. Last summer, for example, several builds of Vista SP1 that had been given to an invite-only group of some 15,000 testers ended up on BitTorrent within days.

The company, of course, takes a dim view of counterfeiters -- one analyst recently estimated that Microsoft made an extra US$77 million last quarter by cracking down on piracy. But its response to questions about the latest leaks was muted. "Microsoft cautions consumers and businesses that downloading software from a non-genuine source can pose risks to their environment," a spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?