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.