Windows 7 leaks to Web, pirates downloading

The 'pre-beta' OS given to developers last week hits BitTorrent

Leaked copies of Windows 7 hit the Internet only hours after Microsoft handed out a preview build to developers last week, according to searches at several BitTorrent tracking sites.

The notorious Pirate Bay site, for example, first noted the 32-bit version of the upcoming operating system on October 29, just one day after Microsoft unveiled Windows 7 to attendees at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles. A 64-bit edition was posted the following day.

As of mid-day Sunday, with several copies of Windows 7 available, downloading was brisk. One 32-bit torrent listed on Pirate Bay showed more than 1,400 "seeders," the term for a computer that has a complete copy of the torrent file, and close to 5,300 "leechers," or computers that have downloaded only part of the complete torrent. The 32-bit torrent installs a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, according to users commenting on the site.

Traffic on the 64-bit edition was lighter: Pirate Bay's longest-available torrent showed about 260 seeders and approximately 900 leechers.

BitTorrent sites such as Pirate Bay, Mininova and Seedpeer all listed the 32-bit version of Windows 7 as weighing in at 2.72GB, while the 64-bit edition was tagged as 3.36GB.

Microsoft talked up Windows 7 for the first time in detail last Tuesday , when Steven Sinofsky, who heads Windows development, and other company executives, presented the new OS in a keynote address and multiple technical sessions. Developers, as well as some reviewers and bloggers, were given what Microsoft dubbed "pre-beta" copies of Windows 7 later that day.

The company has watched its operating systems repeatedly leak to BitTorrent sites. In mid-2007, for instance, several builds of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) that had been given to an invite-only group of some 15,000 testers ended up on BitTorrent within days. Last February , the final version of Vista SP1 made it to the Web weeks before paying customers were allowed to download the update. Several months later, Windows XP SP3 was available on Pirate Bay before it was officially released to users.

Microsoft isn't the only OS maker whose code has leaked, however. In June 2007, a beta of Apple Mac OS X 10.5, aka Leopard, was posted to BitTorrent sites . Unlike three years before, however, when Apple sued 28 people, most identified only as "Does," for releasing a developer preview of Mac OS X 10.4, the company took no legal action to stop the leaks.

Windows 7 is slated to enter a public round of beta testing sometime early in 2009, according to statements made last week by company officials.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows 7

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

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

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?