Andy Boyd (Program Manager, MSDN Subscriber Downloads) has confirmed that Microsoft is planning to release the Longhorn WinHEC 2005 bits.
In a posting to his blog Boyd confirms he has "gotten approval to add the new WinHEC build of Longhorn" to MSDN Subscriber Downloads. "We're looking to publish free and chk/debug versions of 32-bit and x64, SKD, DDK, and Symbols" he added.
The release to MSDN Subscriber downloads is currently on hold and Boyd publicly denied this isn't related to Neowin and several other sites being asked to remove screenshots of 5048. "No, this isn't related to that - we generally try to publish beta and CTP content into MSDN Subscriber Downloads as quickly as we can. The hold is due to something totally unrelated on our (that is, the subscription) end; check back next week would be my advice."
This week at WinHEC 2005, I was personally asked to remove screenshots of 5048 and when I asked why I was given the response it was something to do with the EULA. The Longhorn bits contain the following piece in their EULA:
"5. CONFIDENTIALITY. The Product, including its existence and features, and related information are proprietary and confidential information to Microsoft and its suppliers. Recipient agrees not to disclose or provide the Product, documentation, or any related information (including the Product features or the results of use or testing) to any third party, for a period of one year following receipt of the Product."
According to Microsoft we're supposed to deny all knowledge the build even exists (for a year) when it was released publicly at WinHEC 2005 and is now due to hit MSDN subscriber downloads. Make sense to you? Maybe Microsoft will re-think their general position on aggressive take down notices after Microsoft geek blogger, Robert Scoble has privately apologised to all communities involved in the removal notices.
Update: Boyd has posted a message in the newsgroups saying "for now the WinHEC 05 build has been pulled from the system indefinitely". There are rumours that MSDN were/are going to receive an updated build or a build with a EULA change. More on this as and when we hear it.