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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows

Windows 7 Leaked To Pirates By Microsoft? 236

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the viral-marketing-usually-comes-back-to-bite-you dept.
nandemoari writes "The beta version of Windows 7 has been widely distributed through torrents and other file sharing systems. But now some commentators claim Microsoft deliberately allowed the package to get into the hands of pirates. 'I'm not being critical here, as some Microsoft Watch commenters will surely claim. It's rather smart marketing. Microsoft fills a big news void with something bloggers and journalists will write about. The suspense of stealth downloads from torrents and races to post the best screenshots first make the Windows 7 leak buzz all the more exciting. For other people, there is delight in seeing Microsoft squirm because Seven leaked early. Not that I see much squirming going on.'"
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Windows 7 Leaked To Pirates By Microsoft?

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  • tag: hypocrisy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by oneiros27 (46144) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:00PM (#26304175) Homepage

    Hmm... let's see ... pirated software, where even having it is proof that it's pirated, as it's not released yet. And yesterday's news on WGA convictions. [slashdot.org]

    That's not hypocrisy -- that's a trojan horse.

    • nonsense (Score:3, Insightful)

      by recoiledsnake (879048)
      What nonsense? Those pirates were making millions of dollars by illegally selling code developed by Microsoft at great expense. It's not as if MS is suing individual users like the RIAA does. It doesn't make any sense think they will go after anyone who "pirates" Windows 7 beta.

      FTA:

      In theory this is bad news for Microsoft: it would represent mass piracy and lost revenue.

      Huh? A beta copy of Windows 7 represents mass piracy and lost revenue? The beta expires in July anyway, even if it's production quality. I guess any tripe will get posted on Slashdot if it's anti-Microsoft.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dadamh (1441475)
      I maintain that the entire article is moronic anyway. The fact of the matter is that there's no real reason to believe that MS would bother releasing their beta junk to the world as a pirated system, particularly since pirates (and those that pirate) don't really make good software testers in the sense that they don't write bug reports to Microsoft. That said, I think a real, official open beta would be a very interesting move. MS could get a lot of real-world testing done, and be protected from lawsuits
      • Re:tag: hypocrisy? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Tanktalus (794810) on Friday January 02, 2009 @05:03PM (#26304949) Journal

        There's one thing you're not quite taking into consideration: patents. MS can't release anything in any form (including beta) and then file for a patent. They need to file for the patents first, and only once the paperwork hits the US PTO can they release a beta.

        They may have a claim here that they didn't really release it, so it probably won't count against them when it comes time to file patents.

        • Re:tag: hypocrisy? (Score:5, Informative)

          by nacturation (646836) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `noitarutcan'> on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:34AM (#26309999) Journal

          There's one thing you're not quite taking into consideration: patents. MS can't release anything in any form (including beta) and then file for a patent. They need to file for the patents first, and only once the paperwork hits the US PTO can they release a beta.

          Another piece of advice: don't rely on random dudes on slashdot for legal advice, including me:

          From http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/requirements.html [bitlaw.com]:

          In order for an invention to be patentable, it must be new as defined in the patent law. This novelty requirement states that an invention cannot be patented if certain public disclosures of the invention have been made. The statute which explains when a public disclosure has been made (35 U.S.C. Section 102) is complicated and often requires a detailed analysis of the facts and the law. The most important rule, however, is that an invention will not normally be patentable if:

          • the invention was known to the public before it was "invented" by the individual seeking patent protection;
          • the invention was described in a publication more than one year prior to the filing date; or
          • the invention was used publicly, or offered for sale to the public more than one year prior to the filing date.

          So as long as you file within a year of disclosure, you can still get a patent.

      • by morcego (260031) on Friday January 02, 2009 @05:34PM (#26305301)

        That said, I think a real, official open beta would be a very interesting move.

        Isn't that what is happening with Vista right now ?

        • by Phroggy (441)

          That said, I think a real, official open beta would be a very interesting move.

          Isn't that what is happening with Vista right now ?

          I know this has been a long-running joke, but actually in this case that's not far off. Windows 7 won't really be much different than Vista. The new features aren't particularly significant; they're fixing some of the more serious bugs and improving the performance. They're taking what they've learned from having Vista out in the wild, and trying to improve it gradually without doing a major overhaul.

    • You know that WGA is part of the system. No one deceived you to download it.
      You could have downloaded an Ubuntu install.
      So, whose fault and problem is this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by b4upoo (166390)

      No decent pirate will run win 7 as an operating system. I assume that the ones that got it are selling copies to less than able PC users.

  • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:04PM (#26304213) Homepage Journal
    Then again, perhaps this won't get the best testers.

    The copy which is available has a built-in 30 day time limit and, unlike previous editions of Windows 7, 'enthusiasts' don't seem to have found a way around this yet. While this is pretty normal practice for test editions, it would make it possible for Microsoft to leak the software without it affecting the final product.

    Anyone tried to reset the clock yet?
    On another note, since virtually all of the market for MS Vista is folks who buy a new computer (that isn't a Mac), what good is it to MS to offer something like this up? Is it in the hope that developers will bite? Is this some attrition for Vista?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Is this some attrition for Vista?

      In a sense, I think it is. It's not that Vista is a bad operating system, it is in fact a very good operating system, and will be getting much of the same praise Vista would have had it launched today with todays drivers. 7 can be likened to an OS X point release (hopefully they'll price it as such). Windows 7 will be Vista SP3, re-branded.

      • by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:19PM (#26304429)
        I think drivers were only one piece of the problem, and a fairly small piece at that. The generally viewed performance and requirements are what really caused Vista to tank in the eyes of consumers. Good as it may be for some, not everyone has a new computer or a desire to buy a new one. Couple that with bad performance on budget laptops and there's your whole case right there.
        • by nschubach (922175) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:32PM (#26304565) Journal

          Also the fact that literally nothing was in the same place as it was in XP meaning there was a learning curve right out of the box in finding where the settings have been moved to. I know I got a bit more than frustrated when I tried to actually do anything in Vista. It wasn't because it was slow, (I didn't really notice it being "fast" either) but everything was renamed and/or moved around so much it made changing things a bit of a hunt and peck routine I haven't had since Win95.

          • by radarsat1 (786772) on Friday January 02, 2009 @11:06PM (#26308713) Homepage

            On the other hand, I was _pleasantly_ surprised to see that they'd changed "Documents and Settings/.../My Documents" into "Users/../Documents", finally making it unnecessary to deal with those damn spaces in every single file path in the home directory. *huge* improvement, or rather, finally a fix to a rather annoying screw-up (imho).

            (sure, software should be able to handle the spaces, but if you do any amount of work on the command-line i'm sure you'll agree sometimes it doesn't seem worth the extra effort required)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Shados (741919)

          drivers and software in general. Vanilla vista ran pretty well on old or budget computers, give or take some crappy intel GPUs that made even XP lag some... But OEMs would bundle it with anti-virus softwares that had known performance issues in Vista, versions of Nero that were incompatible, same with codecs... it really trashed the performance. AVG, one of the more popular free anti-virus, had serious issues with Vista back then (not sure about now, didn't hear anything about it in a while). That really hu

          • by twicesliced (909083) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:47PM (#26304727)
            That was the exact problem. Despite being given plenty of warning, many software developers (applications and drivers) did not adjust to the new environment in time for its release. Couple that phenomenon with weak integrated GPUs that should never have been certified for Vista, and that's that. I've run Vista flawlessly on Athlon XPs on nForce2 chipsets and Socket 478 Pentium 4s on Intel 865 chipsets, so old hardware isn't the issue. Windows 7 is just a stripped-down, modular Vista with a streamlined user interface; the big difference is that drivers and applications are finally up to speed.
        • by lmpeters (892805) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:51PM (#26304773)

          I've never yet had to use Vista myself, but in my limited experience helping friends who do use it, the "budget laptops" issue looks to be a serious one. A friend of mine was given a budget laptop for work, but he couldn't get wireless networking to work and asked me for help.

          The first thing I noticed was that it took something ridiculous like 10 minutes to start up, and was incredibly slow even when no applications were running. So I went to the "System" control panel, and discovered the laptop had only 384MB of RAM.

          So...it's a new laptop, that ships with Vista, and it falls short of Vista's minimum RAM requirements? I never did figure that one out.

          I finally told him that the first thing he needed to do before I could help him was to get a laptop that met or exceeded Vista's minimum system requirements. I didn't hear anything about it after that.

        • by KillerBob (217953) on Friday January 02, 2009 @05:46PM (#26305449)

          I think drivers were only one piece of the problem, and a fairly small piece at that. The generally viewed performance and requirements are what really caused Vista to tank in the eyes of consumers. Good as it may be for some, not everyone has a new computer or a desire to buy a new one. Couple that with bad performance on budget laptops and there's your whole case right there.

          More of an addendum than anything else... XP released at a time when 32-128MB of RAM on a system was fairly standard. XP required 64MB as a minimum to install, and didn't really start running very well until you had at least 256MB, which happened at large in the consumer market about 6 months after XP hit the shelves.

          Vista released when 512MB-1GB was fairly standard. It runs poorly on anything less than 2GB. It's the same problem that XP had when it first released... now that new computers are generally coming with 2GB at a minimum, and 6 or 8GB is available from most major manufacturers, Vista's performance has reached acceptable levels.

          I think the problem is that Microsoft has been providing its developers with very powerful workstations to design software on. Maybe for the next major releases of Office and Windows, they should replace all the workstations with '486 DX/66 with 16MB of RAM.... Hopefully then they'll learn the meaning of lean code again.

          • by smoker2 (750216)

            More of an addendum than anything else... XP released at a time when 32-128MB of RAM on a system was fairly standard. XP required 64MB as a minimum to install, and didn't really start running very well until you had at least 256MB, which happened at large in the consumer market about 6 months after XP hit the shelves.

            I don't remember it like that at all. I had 512MB RAM in Win98 and was running Win95 with 384MB with a 300MHz cyrix chip. I wasn't running leading edge gear by any means. My first ground up hom

          • Another problem is going beyond 3.something (or lower if you have a high end graphics card or shitty motherboard that can't manage the memory map decently, I have a friend who only gets 2.5) gig of ram is a PITA.

            MS refuses to enable more than 4GB through PAE on current 32 bit desktop editions (they claim this is due to driver issues, I dunno how much truth in that) and lots of people rely on drivers or software that simply won't work on 64 bit.

            If vista is needing near 2 to run decently and the user gets the

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AmiMoJo (196126)

            I'd recommend giving Server 2008 a try. You can download it free from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B6E99D4C-A40E-4FD2-A0F7-32212B520F50&WT.sp=_technet_,dcsjwb9vb00000c932fd0rjc7_5p3t&displaylang=en [microsoft.com]

            It's basically Vista but highly compartmentalised. Everything but the basic OS and IE is an optional install, even things like audio or wifi support. As such, it's very fast and much lighter on RAM than Vista, but you can use all the Vista compatible drivers and such

      • by MarkRose (820682) on Friday January 02, 2009 @05:08PM (#26305021) Homepage
        Whether it's Windows 7 or not, there's one thing that's guaranteed: it's going to be a pane.
    • by larry bagina (561269) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:16PM (#26304389) Journal
      Good idea! Reset the clock to Decemeber 31st and see if it zunes.
    • by W2k (540424)

      since virtually all of the market for MS Vista is folks who buy a new computer (that isn't a Mac)

      Although you wrote "virtually", I should point out that quite a few people run Vista on Apple hardware. I was surprised to come across such a computer at a friend's house on new year's eve, played with it a bit and it seemed to run great. It's just a regular PC after all, albeit with an exterior design that some find attractive.

      Google "vista macbook" for more info. There are step-by-step guides to making it work.

    • The copy which is available has a built-in 30 day time limit and, unlike previous editions of Windows 7, 'enthusiasts' don't seem to have found a way around this yet. While this is pretty normal practice for test editions, it would make it possible for Microsoft to leak the software without it affecting the final product.

      Anyone tried to reset the clock yet?

      SWIM says that TFM is full of it and that the timebomb can be reset/avoided quite easily...

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:05PM (#26304237)
    These pirate trackers also have working versions of both XP and Vista that have working Microsoft validation. Supposedly this isn't possible, Microsoft is tracking re-used keys, etc etc - except that the pirates have found a way around it, and all those pirate distributions of XP that come bundled with tools like Adobe and Nero all can be patched using Microsoft Windows Update.

    I wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole, even if they were reviewed file for file for viruses and you ran a firewall that blocked outbound connections like Comodo or Zonealarm, because if they want to create a zombie machine, they'll do it using SSL for the control channel.

    Windows 7 can't be patched online yet, but after release if these sites have copies that can be, then I doubt Microsoft would be so happy.

    As to whether or not this is some MS developers idea of a viral marketing campaign: we give those guys in redmond too much credit. I don't think they like seeing it in the wild, esp. with the comments flowing in about how it's no better than Vista.
  • by Van Cutter Romney (973766) <sriram...venkataramani@@@geemail...com> on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:06PM (#26304247)
    Delighted to see MS squirmin'
    But they ain't wrigglin'
    Cause they leaked 7 on the Bay
    Seen sunshine and made hay
    Now bloggers are talkin 'bout
    That the new OS is out
    But I see a frown
    Cause their computer is down!
  • It has happened in the past that Microsoft has blamed their tech beta testers for leaks... at least we can't get blamed for this one.
  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:08PM (#26304263) Homepage
    The TFA sums up evidence as: "it's what I would do" and "MS doesn't seem too worried".

    I don't doubt they did leak it on purpose...but TFA gives no evidence...save some personal projecting.

  • Happened before (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slugtastic (1437569)
    Though for different reasons, this was tried before [torrentfreak.com].
  • then why (Score:5, Informative)

    by ionix5891 (1228718) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:10PM (#26304305)

    would microsoft send me a take down notice to remove windows 7 files uploaded onto our hosting servers by one of our customers last week?

    • Re:then why (Score:5, Funny)

      by gilgongo (57446) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:14PM (#26304365) Homepage Journal

      would microsoft send me a take down notice to remove windows 7 files uploaded onto our hosting servers by one of our customers last week?

      Because this is supposed to be black ops. Not even Microsoft knows they're doing it.

      Still - this is all just hot air. There is no way we will ever know whether MS leaked 7 on purpose or not.

    • Re:then why (Score:5, Interesting)

      by InlawBiker (1124825) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:15PM (#26304373)

      Because the clever marketing people who 'leaked' the beta do not communicate with the licensing and piracy teams.

    • Re:then why (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bertie (87778) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:55PM (#26304823)

      1) It's Microsoft. Frequently, left hand and right hand are barely acquainted. And in this case, they've probably deliberately been kept apart.

      2) Like a magician, they're making a big show to distract you, so you don't notice what they're up to with their other hand.

      3) They have to be SEEN to be doing the right thing, even if they're not. And they wouldn't be alone in this, there's a lot of ot about. Can somebody remind me of the fairly well-known American band whose album got leaked before release to torrent sites last year, causing takedown notices aplenty, only for it to transpire that the person who leaked it was their manager?

  • I RTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:13PM (#26304341) Journal

    And there is about zero substantiation. No unnamed sources. No evidence.

    Slashdot -- speculation for nerds and rumors that matter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by truthsearch (249536)

      It's obviously a slow news day here, and I'd much rather see rumors than more idle.

      If you come here for the quality journalism, well... I've got some bad news for you...

    • by PylonHead (61401)

      Exactly. Pure speculation. It's amazing how many people are talking about it as if it were true.

      I'm going to start some more rumors.

      There is a naked picture of Linus Torvalds secretly encoded in the Linux sources.

      Mac OS X silently uploads your porn collection to a Cupertino data center where Steve jobs personally sifts through it for the really good stuff.

      The Zunes were originally programmed to explode on December 31st, killing their owners, but there was a bug in the code since nobody wanted to test it.

      • by SEE (7681)

        There is a naked picture of Linus Torvalds secretly encoded in the Linux sources.

        Hmm? Sir, you really need to have your eyes examined. Linus doesn't have labia piercings.

  • More like they've gone for the alleged tactic of the early Windows releases and just turned a blind eye to it, knowing that the end user base only benefit them in the long term...

    • benefit (and possibly grows).

      There has long been the suspicion that Microsoft fostered piracy because an IT person monkeying around with a Microsoft product at home might recommend it at work when asked. Or a business might eventually grow a conscience (or an auditor) and convert a bunch of pirated seats into legit ones. You know, the whole "Try before you buy" tactic.
    • no...I think it's more plausible that they were some how involved.

      it's actually quite brilliant.
      It is a change in tactics for sure but judging from the crap they got from Vista, it makes sense to try a new method to beat their competitors.
      It also allows people to believe the good "reviews" more especially those based on the leaked version since to the public, there isn't a "Microsoft bias" attached to it. It's not like Microsoft winked and blinked at the journalists to get them to say things.
      And if the jou

  • PR (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sta7ic (819090) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:16PM (#26304391)
    Guess we're again seeing that any PR is good PR. W7 is getting 'geek' exposure while it's still sounding squirreled up in development. Cruise various forums and blogs, early feedback from the tech-savvy. Makes enough sense to some of us. Whether or not this was planned very far up the line is a good question, but it's not too bad. If the source, rather than a distro was released, OTOH...
  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:19PM (#26304421)

    Here is a link to leaked videos of the KDE 4.2 beta!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg0ma-qKHrM [youtube.com]

    There are numerous of those on that site, Youtube.

  • > It's rather smart marketing.

    And we've grown so accustomed to that phrase being associated with MS up to now...versus vast parts of the online world having shown contempt at MS for decades. Got it, thanks :)
  • by hwyhobo (1420503) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:30PM (#26304541)

    Windows 7 has been widely distributed through torrents

    Does that qualify as a distributed virus attack?

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:34PM (#26304609) Journal

    Waiting for Windows 7 is like waiting for the new Ford Taurus to come out!

    -jcr

    • Waiting for Windows 7 is like waiting for the new Ford Taurus to come out!

      No kiddin. Let's go back to trivial updates to Mozilla making the front page.

  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:42PM (#26304679)
    Well, leaks sound a lot more exciting than previews. Previews are held back by NDAs, pre-configured pre-tweaked setups, and perhaps time limits as well. There's less criticism, less peeking under the hood, and "preview" just has a connotation of being biased or at least very reserved, and perhaps the usual OS previews are not as technical and investigative as we would like.
  • I seem to have heard the leaked-to-pirates-intentionally idea more than once..

  • by zullnero (833754) on Friday January 02, 2009 @04:59PM (#26304899) Homepage
    By MS guys at various events. And no, MS knows full well that Vista was a failure, and generating underground hype for their next rev is kinda a big deal for them. It's worked for them in the past, and they figure it'll work for them again.

    Anyway, that's what I heard from one of their employees. But it's not a new thing, I've known a lot of folks who would tell me, off the record, that they know they're a little too "carefree" with their software for many years. The general thought there is that they'd rather have their stuff pirated than not used, but the business folks and shareholders wanted the WGA crap inserted to make themselves feel better. While taking a very broad shot at the pirates that were burning, repackaging, and reselling their stuff. Those are the types of pirates that pretty much anyone can agree are assholes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 02, 2009 @05:11PM (#26305045)

    I am seriously amazed this is news. This has been happening almost as long as piracy has been around. I used to release for several groups, and helped run sites. We had several people who were friends with industry people (sometimes software producers (but this was rarer), mostly movies/music/tv). This is how we got PRE's ages before the movie/album/show was released. There were instances of people stealing the property, but this was unsustainable and so those people were only able to provide us with 1 or so releases. The people who continually delivered were often from the marketing/producers/execs from the big parent companies and similar. However, there were some people who worked in development, or at cd presses, however this was a much smaller subset of releasers, as this section always got the most scrutiny on security.

    I am perpetually amazed by how little people actually know about the scene. It provides us with so much awesome, yet very few people understand it.

  • DO NOT WANT (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Progman3K (515744)

    Sorry, I have definitely given up on MS and will only give a crap about them when PAID to.

    // Reasonable rates, btw

  • by BUL2294 (1081735) on Friday January 02, 2009 @05:40PM (#26305363)
    This is nothing new... Microsoft did the exact same thing in '94-'95 with Windows 95, only back then we got our leaked betas by way of pirate BBSs and 28.8 modems. This unofficial beta test put pre-release Win95 in the hands of thousands of computer geeks, who ended up lining up outside CompUSAs, Computer Citys, and Best Buys to get their copies of Win95 at 12:00am on 8/24/95... Win95's positive buzz was a direct result of the leaked betas.

    Now, Windows 7 needs to deliver just like Win95 did in terms of app compatibility, drivers, and improvements...

    Oh, and for the guy above who said that Vista's driver issue has improved--it really hasn't. People just replaced their older hardware, so the improvement is mostly perception.
    • by hemp (36945)

      Having worked at CompUSA when Win '95 went on sale, I can say that the store was not open at midnight and there were no geeks lined up to be the first to own '95.

      The midnight hype only occurred with Win '98.

      • by BUL2294 (1081735)
        Wrong. It was Win95. I remember because I had to get permission from my parents to come home past my curfew. By the Win98 era, I was living on my own in another city...
    • by Phroggy (441)

      Oh, and for the guy above who said that Vista's driver issue has improved--it really hasn't. People just replaced their older hardware, so the improvement is mostly perception.

      This is exactly right. Windows 7's most important feature is not being named Vista. By now, most people's hardware has Vista-compatible drivers available, and most people's applications have Vista-compatible versions available, so if they're running XP now, upgrading to Windows 7 when it comes out will be pretty smooth. Exactly as smooth as upgrading to Vista when Windows 7 comes out would be. However, upgrading to Vista two years ago was a disaster, and that's why people are still clinging to XP.

      Window

  • 1 Leak Windows 7 to pirate torrents sites
    2 Create a wave of internet excitement(?)amongst people who would never buy it.
    3 Sell millions of copies as a result of this er ...
    4 Normally comes pre-installed on new PC'S
    5 Very few people ever actually buy a copy (see 4)
    6 Not actually available in the shops
    7 ???
    8 Result Profit???

    With appropriate apologies to the South Park Meme
  • Suppose that unassailable proof was released showing that Microsoft leaked this intentionally. Would there be any legal consequences? Is it their IP so they can do what they want? Or might they be failing to protect their IP and thus effectively be releasing it for free?

  • Common tactic (Score:5, Informative)

    by crossmr (957846) on Friday January 02, 2009 @08:27PM (#26307475) Journal

    This appears to be a common tactic for television producers. Around pre-season times there is an inevitable leak of almost all new shows that would appeal to the demographic that would know how to download them. This is in fact quite smart because they probably realize:
    1)If these people will download a pre-air, they're probably going to download the regular show too, so downloading now or later has the same effect
    2)People are going to talk about the show and give feedback
    3)Leak it early enough and you might have a chance to tweak some things

    now a TV show and operating system are in different places all together..but the concept is the same..

  • MS would never release any build this way. Insinuating such a thing is completely irresponsible for the following reasons.

    1. It would be a slap in the face to partners that are made to wait for real builds that have gone through a known set of tests and have known issues noted with the release.
    2. It would tell all engineers that work hard on the project that quality doesn't matter, because any old build will do.
    3. It would say that MS doesn't care about IP protection, which everyone knows is completely false.
    4. The b

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