Windows 7 leaks to Web third time this month

Build 7068 hits file-sharing sites in both 32- and 64-bit versions

Yet another Windows 7 build has leaked to the Web, turning recent appearances of pirated copies into a weekly event on file-sharing sites.

As many as 10 different copies of Windows 7 Build 7068 have been added to BitTorrent since last Friday, according to searches on popular tracking sites such as Mininova.org and Pirate Bay. Illegal copies of both 32- and 64-bit editions are available.

The appearance of Windows 7 Build 7068 follows the leak of Build 7057 by about a week; 7057, in turn, followed 7048 by about the same time span. The newest build is the fourth to hit BitTorrent since Microsoft stopped offering the public beta last month.

Traffic on this build has been especially brisk. As of midday today, Mininova reported that the various copies of Windows 7 Build 7068 have been downloaded a combined total of more than 65,000 times.

Although Build 7068 was compiled by Microsoft on March 21, there's no hint in the new version that it is a possible release candidate (RC), unlike earlier this month when some downloaders speculated that Build 7057 was the long-awaited RC.

Last week, in fact, Microsoft accidentally revealed details of Windows 7 RC, including a May 2009 delivery of a public download and a new expiration date, June 1, 2010, for the preview.

According to the My Digital Life site, Windows 7 Build 7068 expires on March 2, 2010, the same date as earlier builds, including 7057, displayed.

Windows 7 leaks have been a problem for Microsoft since previews were first handed out in October 2008 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference. Since then, other versions have appeared on BitTorrent, including a pirated copy of what was later released as the beta.

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Gregg Keizer

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