August 3rd, 2012, 21:56 PM
Windows 8 Leaked in Final Form
A final copy of Windows 8 leaked to the Internet on Thursday, just a day after Microsoft stamped the new operating system as finished.
Identified as Windows 8 Enterprise N -- the "N" marks it as aimed at European users -- on several BitTorrent file-sharing websites, it was unclear yesterday whether the leaked build was legitimate.
Although some who downloaded the leaked copy asserted it was an invalid build, the consensus early Friday was that it was the real deal.
"Legitimate. It works. Looks real," said one commenter on a popular file-sharing site. Numerous downloaders posted screenshots to back up their contention that the leak was the actual Windows 8.
Others vouched for it as well, including "Canouna," the nickname used by an administrator of the WinLeaked forum.
The copy is an English-language version, but according to the file-sharing sites is non-booting, meaning pirates must create installation media. Instructions for generating a DVD- or USB flash drive-based installer were posted on some of the file-sharing websites, and available elsewhere on the Internet.
Microsoft's N editions omit Windows Media Player, and are distributed throughout most of Europe as part of the mandate by European Union antitrust regulators after a 2004 decision that concluded Microsoft's bundling of the player program was anti-competitive.