Microsoft still struggling with Windows XP downloads

Microsoft Corp. continued to face problems Monday with its Windows XP preview program, as some users were able to download a beta version of the new operating system for free, instead of having to pay US$9.95. Last week, a glitch blocked numerous registered users who had paid for the software from downloading the software.

Microsoft teamed months ago with hosting specialist Conxion Corp. to serve up a beta version of Windows XP to users living in the U.S. and Canada. So far, around 53,000 people have signed up for the program and received their downloads successfully, but it now appears that some users possibly outside of North America are clambering for their own look at the software, according to a Conxion spokeswoman.

"The legitimate download process is absolutely fine, but there appears to be some exploiters out there who are trying to find their way into the beta program," the spokeswoman said. "Hackers are hackers, and Microsoft seems to be one of their favorite targets."

Users apparently discovered a hole in the download system that would allow them to receive the software for free. At least one user then posted information on how to exploit the hole on a message board. Conxion discovered the problem this morning after receiving messages about the message-board posting. The original hacks into the system may have started when European users tried to find a way to access the software meant only for North American residents, the spokeswoman said.

Conxion claimed that users managing to download the software for free would not be able to use it. Every user still needs a password and key to activate the download.

During the first week of the preview program, a number of users complained they did not receive the password and security key information they had paid for. Conxion said there were some glitches at the start of the downloading process but that the errors were fixed.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashlee Vance

PC World
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?