Microsoft admits Windows 7 torrents were inevitable

Microsoft released their Windows 7 M3 build 6801 at PDC last week and within 24 hours copies began to appear on popular bit torrent sites worldwide.

In a recent press roundtable, Microsoft executive Gary Schare, director of hardware ecosystem product management for the Windows client, acknowledged that the problem of bit torrent distribution was inevitable.

"Certainly when we went into an event saying 'OK, you have to come to an event to get the bits', you kind of know that someone is going to find a way to put that out there," Schare told APC, though he declined to comment on any specific legal actions Microsoft might take against downloaders: "I can't speak to what our legal team or anyone else has done."

The M3 build, released at last weeks PDC and WinHEC this week, does not require a serial to install therefore you can download and test the build freely.

Distribution to those wishing to install Windows 7 is probably a blessing in disguise for Microsoft. The windows team pools together a lot of data from Windows update and the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) so a broader range of feedback may assist with early issues. Many who install Windows 7 early are technical enough to deal with any early bugs and can provide essential feedback ready for the broad beta in early 2009.

On the other hand many in the 1000 strong Windows team may argue that this creates a lot of noise and too much broad feedback. The company may not require such broad feedback from non developers and hardware engineers for such an early build.

Microsoft has not provided a full schedule for the beta of Windows 7 but yesterday in a keynote at Microsoft's WinHEC conference, Steven Sinofsky hinted at there being 1 beta and 1 release candidate before RTM.

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26 Comments

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Windows 7 is nice, I can honestly say that.

I don't know why that is a BAD thing that everyone has it, it gives Microsoft a better understanding of what people want.

though he declined to comment on any specific legal actions Microsoft might take against downloaders

Since when has Microsoft ever taken legal action against downloaders? They most they ever do is blacklist your product key.

Everything is on torrents these days and you cannot really stop it. It doesnt matter if a program is leaked today, or 3 months from today. It will get hacked if there are people wanting to use the software.

We are the Microsoft ... Resistance is futile .... YOU will be assimilated!!!
one way or another we'll get out beta testers why waste our servers when we can waste yours mwahahahaha

No serial number begs the question whether MS really would have intended the 'free' distribution of Windows to be readily available to pirates. That and they probably don't want them to figure out the serial key algorithm based on an early preview (this happened with pre-Vista builds).

As long as early punters give MS some actual technical feedback then MS hasnt got too much to worry about.

AnthoWin said,
No serial number begs the question whether MS really would have intended the 'free' distribution of Windows to be readily available to pirates. That and they probably don't want them to figure out the serial key algorithm based on an early preview (this happened with pre-Vista builds).

As long as early punters give MS some actual technical feedback then MS hasnt got too much to worry about.


There is no doubt MS planned this really
the beta submits data to MS automatically, they getting tons of feedback now from numerous computers.

Beastage said,



There is no doubt MS planned this really
the beta submits data to MS automatically, they getting tons of feedback now from numerous computers.

Wake up, people. You could install Vista without serial too. And XP SP3 is the same. conspiracy, my ass...

AnthoWin said,
No serial number begs the question

It does not beg any question as that is not what begging the question means. What you should say is: it raises the question.

http://begthequestion.info/

To beg the question does not mean "to raise the question." (e.g. "It begs the question, why is he so dumb?") This is a common error of usage made by those who mistake the word "question" in the phrase to refer to a literal question.

Microsoft can take legal action but I don't think they'd be eligible for a pecuniary remedy, because they gave it away for free anyway; they can't go back and say "oh we lost x dollars because this guy pirated our software"

It's amusing that people are speculating on what legal action Microsoft may take - 1) It's a beta, 2) Microsoft gave it away for free at PDC, and when they did that it's as good as putting a download to it on their website - there is no legal action to take because it wouldnt stand up in any court!

It'd be a great advantage for Microsoft to just let these beta builds out there so that those that want to investigate it can jump on the bandwagon, then when it is released, everyone will know what they are getting into. Lastly, customer feedback is king and will greatly improve the end result of this operating system.

^+1.

E.g. if MS gives away copies of Vista Ultimate at seminars/conferences/conventions, that doesn't give every other person on the interwebs the right to start downloading copies of Vista.

a windows beta not appearing on a torrent, is about as likely as windows release version not getting cracked and pirated.... its going to happen....

True, but at different phases in the product cycle you want different types and amounts of feedback. Plus you also need the systems in place to handle the expected level of feedback.

Want to use Windows 7 badly but... not badly enough to risk my files and documents. Will wait for the release next year and leave the testing to people who know what to and how to test.

Jugalator said,
Even testers won't risk their files and documents, being testing Windows 7 on non-production systems or virtual machines. :)

Even a better reason to leave it to the professionals

I dont know if they should see this as a good or bad thing.

Of what ive read (*caugh* Tried) Windows 7 M3 has been faster, and works very well (not a crash!). Already now it seems to be better than Windows Vista (Wich I was using before 7).

Archangel Tyrael said,
I dont know if they should see this as a good or bad thing.

Of what ive read (*caugh* Tried) Windows 7 M3 has been faster, and works very well (not a crash!). Already now it seems to be better than Windows Vista (Wich I was using before 7).

i agree..m3 is better than vista in many aspects...although it does have its hiccups and fritzes from time to time...and yes i do believe that the boys at Redmond like to hear feedback from the early adopters