Sudden closure of many Windows 8 based sites and twitter feeds; Microsoft not involved [Update]

A number of websites that have been known for posting details and leaked images of Windows 8 have closed today. Sources have told us that they have received cease and desist letters from Microsoft relating specifically to leaked images and build details, though this could well be due to companies hosting the content being hassled by the Seattle based company.

The main closure seems to be that of winreview.ru, a site that has become very popular for leaking details of Windows 8 along with many images that have recently been posted around the web. The site posted on twitter that “winreview.ru is not exists anymore because it pointless project for me now. not affiliated with MS requests” while also stating that their twitter feed has now become read-only.

Next on the list is popular forum MDL, which has been hosting forums discussing both Windows 8 and posting various images from Microsoft's upcoming operating system. The Twitter feed from user Canouna posted earlier on that the site has had all of its threads about Windows 8 deleted and that they would like all sites who have used pictures and images from MDL to remove them from blogs and forums.

Ultrawindows has also removed most of their Windows 8 images and details from their site, as well as closing down their twitter feed today.

PCPortal.org.ru another Russian based site has also been closed down with a translated note on their site stating that “Account locked: Violation of exclusive rights to Microsoft”

This is the first major crackdown based on Windows 8 leaks from Microsoft and comes just after the release of a very early beta to Microsoft Connect.

Update: Another two additional sites have closed as well. http://wst-place.ucoz.com/ and http://staforceteam.clan.su/ with both stating "Violation of Exclusive Rights to Microsoft" as the reasoning. Both of these sites and PCPortal were hosted by the same company, so the likelihood is the company forced their closure.

Update: Both MDL and WinReview.ru are now stating that Microsoft was not the reason behind the closure. MDL have reopened their forums, though screenshots relating to Windows 8 may not be posted. Something has happened behind the scenes relating to Windows 8 screenshots leaked, more news is likely to come out soon.

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Regardless Of everyone's opinion , Windows 8 is the intellectual property of Microsoft and they have the right to serve cease and desist notices or drag you into civil and criminal

Joe05 said,
Regardless Of everyone's opinion , Windows 8 is the intellectual property of Microsoft and they have the right to serve cease and desist notices or drag you into civil and criminal

Microsoft also doesn't need you to remember what they can do, feel nice defending the big guys, right?

LOL, one more. Those sites closed NOT 'cause of MS request. Winreview owner just tired from his site, pcportal and wst-place closed by some "bad guy" (from staforce, probably) from hoster support and will be available online very soon.
Stop this speculation please.

Angel of Despair said,
LOL, one more. Those sites closed NOT 'cause of MS request. Winreview owner just tired from his site, pcportal and wst-place closed by some "bad guy" (from staforce, probably) from hoster support and will be available online very soon.
Stop this speculation please.

Relating to them it was a C & D fake or otherwise, seen it - seems like someone wanted to shut them down even though the contents they aimed it at were all proper MS files, though the C/D aimed at win 8 images too. Hopefully it was faked and they'll reopen soon, though usually if its cut and dry they would be now.

Still you don't go round telling everyone to remove images of Windows 8 from their sites and forums for no reason do you

Angel of Despair said,
LOL, one more. Those sites closed NOT 'cause of MS request. Winreview owner just tired from his site, pcportal and wst-place closed by some "bad guy" (from staforce, probably) from hoster support and will be available online very soon.
Stop this speculation please.

These kind of people sometimes tell they just got "tired" because they don't want to admit someone has owned their asses. It has happened before. There's more to it than just being "tired" here if you correlate that statement with what else is going on here.

Pretty smart my MS actually. Too much hype too early creates stagnation when you need the hype to be there (near product release).

Personally, I'm sick of Windows 8 updates already and already ignore most of it.

Going to be interesting to see how they can really move forward from Windows 7. I mean, this is a damn fine OS.

DJGM said,
The new ribbon UI on Windows 8 Explorer is fugly as hell. Here's hoping that can be turned off.

i like it, its new, its different, its not stolen from linux or mac, and its kind of useful, im looking forward to it, they need to do something about 3rd party software that still have the old interface, to force them to appear with ribbon in windows 8 somehow, thatd be great

The ucoz websites were also not closed by MS, but instead by Staforce, who lied to abuse team by a fake MS antipiracy letter and initated this closure process. All ucoz websites will be back soon, except for staforceteam, who was permanently banned for lying to support.

arseny92 said,
The ucoz websites were also not closed by MS, but instead by Staforce, who lied to abuse team by a fake MS antipiracy letter and initated this closure process. All ucoz websites will be back soon, except for staforceteam, who was permanently banned for lying to support.

Great news if true

From the several times I open Neowin or refresh it, 75% of them are expecting/hoping to see news about Microsoft news/leaks, Windows 8, Office, Metro UI, WP7...

They NEED hype, they NEED leaks no matter the possible loss (longhorn thing), they f**.. need people talk about them more than about Apple products. Are you stupid or what

Sadly, this doesn't surprise me. I think it would be cool if we could still get the information and screenshots and stuff but perhaps being more discrete and not mentioning the source would be highly advisable. Microsoft always seems to get upset about these kinds of things but in the long run it doesnt really hurt them, they actually get more people to test and more public awareness of future products when such information leaks happen.

Oh lalĂ ! So Microsoft this time doesn't want us to know about its upcoming OS early? Hmmm .. this now makes me think if they didn't really leak on purpose all the Windows 7 builds for advertising/marketing/hype/you_name_it It sucks so much when one's forced to shut down a site for 'infringement of copyright material'

The only reason I could attribute to Microsoft for doing this would be to avoid competitors ("the innovate Apple" and the "open-sourced Google") copy their features. (Time Machine vs. Shadow Copy .... resizable windows vs. resizable windows [not only on lower right corner] cough cough)

astroX said,
The only reason I could attribute to Microsoft for doing this would be to avoid competitors ("the innovate Apple" and the "open-sourced Google") copy their features. (Time Machine vs. Shadow Copy .... resizable windows vs. resizable windows [not only on lower right corner] cough cough)
+++1

I don't know why Microsoft is so upset about this. Leaks creates hypes, and hypes automatically puts the product in the spotlights, something that every software developer is trying to do?!

Jarrichvdv said,
I don't know why Microsoft is so upset about this. Leaks creates hypes, and hypes automatically puts the product in the spotlights, something that every software developer is trying to do?!

Yeah but if they cant deliver some of those feature in the final release then what do you think happens? -_-

Jarrichvdv said,
I don't know why Microsoft is so upset about this. Leaks creates hypes, and hypes automatically puts the product in the spotlights, something that every software developer is trying to do?!

It interferes with their main OS strategy since Windows 7. They will only reveal features after they're baked in after Beta status to avoid a disaster like Longhorn/ Vista (important features being removed during development).

Jarrichvdv said,
I don't know why Microsoft is so upset about this. Leaks creates hypes, and hypes automatically puts the product in the spotlights, something that every software developer is trying to do?!

I also don't understand why Microsoft is starting to be like Apple on leaks on unreleased products. It does create hype which is a good thing but I guess they may want to keep new features under wraps until Microsoft announces the next version of Windows.

bastones said,

I also don't understand why Microsoft is starting to be like Apple on leaks on unreleased products. It does create hype which is a good thing but I guess they may want to keep new features under wraps until Microsoft announces the next version of Windows.


Hype is good, but only after the product is almost done and in beta stage. Too much hype or leaks will cause people to jump to conclusions before they can see how all the features and changes will come together to provide a better experience.

freak180 said,

Yeah but if they cant deliver some of those feature in the final release then what do you think happens? -_-

Now: I love this!!!!!01010110101
At release: Aww **** you MS

Jarrichvdv said,
I don't know why Microsoft is so upset about this. Leaks creates hypes, and hypes automatically puts the product in the spotlights, something that every software developer is trying to do?!

Because MS competitors can see their vision as well.

FoxieFoxie said,

Because MS competitors can see their vision as well.

Much like apple jump on touch(they bought company that had touch technology after MS demonstrated surface and they also jump on universal search on the OS(demoed as a Longhorn feature) and also created Shadow copy(OSX new feature, now being called history vault by MS) and many other features which Microsoft has developed prior to other competitors. But it takes longer for Microsoft to released these products because of they're size and amount of OEM testing it takes. Apple controls hardware and software so it's an easy process for them.

DARKFiB3R said,

Who/what is it due to?
The masses of kids on MDL's W8 threads, that were hounded/threating to hack kids for Windows 8, and being immature? Maybe.

Xerax said,
The masses of kids on MDL's W8 threads, that were hounded/threating to hack kids for Windows 8, and being immature? Maybe.

lol

Xerax said,
The masses of kids on MDL's W8 threads, that were hounded/threating to hack kids for Windows 8, and being immature? Maybe.

Soo true

Tom W said,
Umm this isn't due to Microsoft. Very irresponsible to say so!

Yeah, I'm sure this is just another April Fools joke...

freak180 said,
Well shouldnt neowin remove their Win 8 content as well?

I think there waiting for MS to ask them before they do so, or the fact neowin is just pulling from the sources MS is trying to shut down.

freak180 said,
Well shouldnt neowin remove their Win 8 content as well?

Once it's on the internet it can't really be removed from everywhere, they care more about stopping further leaks.

WelshBluebird said,
So is neowin going to continue reporting what comes out, or stop in fear of repercussions from MS?

Typically MS has only gotten angry with sites leaking the info, as opposed to ones reporting on the leaks.

Denis W said,
Don't shoot the messenger. Shoot the source.

Yeah the sources will get the bullet, not the reporters. Unless they get some kind of injunction, which would be stupid. You cannot control teh internetz.

Northgrove said,

But you use to copy the screenshots for hosting here? You're not only reporting, but copying leaked content for re-hosting on your domain.

Example:
http://neowin.net/images/uploa...-42fe-a7e2-ec35fb9af8e4.jpg

Once it is out in the wild, it becomes very difficult wipe the leaks from existence. MS would rather spend more resources going after the leakers than sites reporting on content, regardless if they reuploaded pictures. ISO's and actual files and what not... then that's different, but screenshots... I don't think they'd waste their time. Of course if Neowin got a Cease and Desist letter, they'd probably comply with the request, but they've been doing this a really long time, and have only had a few issues.

Advancer said,
So... what about the posts here at neowin?

Haha, I was thinking the same thing. Neowin is also posting leaked screenshots, sometimes exclusive ones.

Can we now assume that Neowin is also not allowed to keep posting, or re-posting, leaked Windows 8 screenshots?

TRC said,
Microsoft needs to get their employees on a leash, it shouldn't be that hard to stop these leaks.

"Unauthorized use or disclosure in any manner may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment (in the case of employees), termination of an assignment or contract (in the case of contingent staff), and potential civil and criminal liability."

TRC said,
Microsoft needs to get their employees on a leash, it shouldn't be that hard to stop these leaks.
It also looks like the employee loyalty to the company is at an all time low.

Jebadiah said,
It also looks like the employee loyalty to the company is at an all time low.

I wouldn't say it was the MS employees, its people outside of MS. As soon as it when to partners it gets out. MS internally do not operate with CDs, it'll be the ones that get sent out.

People have always leaked MS things and thats just the way things are. It's going to be IMPOSSIBLE to keep outside companies under control. Unfortunately though they have got to pass around Windows 8 so that everyone can test properly.

Plus in the long run the benefits far exceed the negatives of having a build leaked each week.

TRC said,
Microsoft needs to get their employees on a leash, it shouldn't be that hard to stop these leaks.

Troll or just silly?

1) Microsoft has around 90,000 employees
2) Windows 8, like all versions of Windows is released to select hardware & software MFRs, as well as Microsoft development partners and several large customer partners that use Windows throughout the development process. This means, that outside of Microsoft, there are probably close to 500,000 people within these organizations that have access to the software.
3) NDAs do not prevent or stop leaks, it only allows for recourse if the source can be identified.

Just in contrast, Apple has about 1/2 the number of employees, and based on their development process, internally, projects are disclosed on a need to know basis, which is why the left hand often does not know what the right hand is doing. They also have a very 'suspect' policity of pursing direct legal action to anyone associated with a leak or even reporting a leak, are known to have people's equipment confiscated, and even have had people jailed over leaked information.
----And wait for it, even they have leaks, still...

What do you suggest Microsoft should do? Develop Windows in total secrecy, so that they have no user feedback, no corporate feedback, no hardware MFR feedback, no software developer feedback? That way when they release Windows, it will run like crap on hardware, have screwed up new frameworks, and be as user friendly as a angry badger?

---If you want to see how new application and development frameworks can bomb because of poor engineering/design and no feedback, go look through Apple's frameworks and library of tools on OS X that have been abandoned because their inherent design was too flawed to ever function even close to what Apple promised.

Alansonit said,
I don't see any benefit to leaking someone's intellectual property.

It will land you in civil and criminal court.

I wouldn't say it was the MS employees, its people outside of MS. As soon as it when to partners it gets out. MS internally do not operate with CDs, it'll be the ones that get sent out.

People have always leaked MS things and thats just the way things are. It's going to be IMPOSSIBLE to keep outside companies under control. Unfortunately though they have got to pass around Windows 8 so that everyone can test properly.

Plus in the long run the benefits far exceed the negatives of having a build leaked each week.



1) Microsoft has around 90,000 employees

Lol, not all 90k have access to Windows 8 builds silly. Only a fraction of that.