updated 03:20 pm EST, Tue December 30, 2008
Windows 7 beta leaked
A beta version of the Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 7, has been leaked online and is available for download, according to a Tuesday report. Labeled "Build 7000," a 32-bit version of Windows 7 is currently being distributed via BitTorrent networks, with available copies numbering in the thousands. Those who have downloaded the illegal software are said to believe the build is the genuine article.
The leak comes about a week before an expected CES keynote speech by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, highlighting features and perhaps an official release of the beta software. Microsoft has hinted that it may release a beta as soon as January 13th.
Windows 7 was initially expected to launch in early 2010, but Microsoft has since announced it is aiming for a late 2009 launch instead. Microsoft has also extended the shelf life of the generation-old Windows XP by six months, which may give users the option of skipping the current OS, Windows Vista, entirely.