April 12, 2010, 4:03 PM — Pirated copies of WINDOWS 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) leaked to the Internet last week, searches at several BitTorrent sites show.
The purported Windows 7 SP1 build was tagged as "6.1.7601.16537.100327-0053," indicating that it was compiled by Microsoft on March 27, 2010. According to tallies at several file-sharing sites, several thousand copies of the leak have been grabbed by downloaders since it went live last Wednesday.
In March, Microsoft confirmed that it was working on service packs for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but declined to set a ship date for the upgrades. At the time, the company said that the service packs would primarily be composed of "minor updates," including patches and hotfixes that will have been delivered already via the Windows Update service, and a limited number of new features. Among the latter: an updated Remote Desktop client designed to work with RemoteFX , the new remote-access platform set to debut in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
BitTorrent sites listed the SP1 preliminary build as a 1.26GB download.
Users who downloaded and installed the pirated build reported that they had successfully updated their copies of Windows 7. "Installed and tested, works fine," said someone identified as "cj42057" on h33t.com . "Reports as Service Pack 1, v1.53 and it did not brick my activation, but I'm sure that all depends on the technique you've used for activation."
Microsoft's software regularly reaches file-sharing sites before release. Windows 7, in fact, hit BitTorrent sites just hours after Microsoft handed out a preview build to developers in October 2008, while the official RTM, for "release to manufacturing" build leaked two weeks before the best-connected customers had access to the new operating system.
"As a reminder, we strongly recommend that customers do not install unofficial software for their own protection," a Microsoft spokeswoman said today. The company has repeatedly cited data, including a Microsoft-sponsored 2006 report from research firm IDC ( download PDF ), that a significant percentage of pirated copies of its software contain malware.