Windows 8: Beta collectors waiting with bated breath for a leak

Windows 8: Beta collectors waiting with bated breath for a leak

Summary: In the past few days, rumors of a possible leak of one of the newer Windows 8 internal builds have been gaining steam.

SHARE:

While there have been various minor Windows 8 leaks claimed and reported by various sites, Microsoft has kept a tight lid on its next version of Windows to date.

But in the past few days, rumors of a possible leak of one of the newer Windows 8 internal builds have been gaining steam. Some known beta-leaking sites have been posting new screen shots of what they are claiming to be leaked Windows 8 builds. These builds may be from one or more select OEMs, who supposedly are finally starting to get private test builds of Windows 8 from Microsoft.

There have been all kinds of claims as to how and why Microsoft has managed to keep Windows 8 leaks to a minimum. There's a forbidding warning (beyond the milder "sssh. let's not leak our hard work") on the alleged Windows 8 screen shots. It reads:

"Unauthorized use or disclosure in any manner may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment (in the case of employees), termination of an assignment or contract (in the case of contingent staff), and potential civil and criminal liability."

There also have been claims that Microsoft has coded identifying information into Windows 8 downloads to help the company track leakers. (One of my sources said that there are some builds of Windows 8 that are "Red Pill," which means they only can be downloaded by certain individuals when they are on the Microsoft campus.)

The latest alleged Windows 8 screen shots don't sport the new Windows 8 user interface(s), as the interface typically is one of the last pieces that Microsoft adds to Windows test builds. (I am using interface in the plural here because we Microsoft watchers have heard there will likely be at least two different interfaces for Windows 8 client when it ships, with one being a tile-based touch-centric one, known as MoSH, for Modern Shell.)

On March 30, a bunch of new alleged Windows 8 screen shots, posted by CNBeta.com, make mention of a possible new Windows 8 feature known as "History Vault." The WinRumors.com site described History Vault as Microsoft's answer to Apple's Time Machine. History Vault, from what little can be gleaned from the new screen shots, looks to be an update to Microsoft's Shadow Copy feature that has been in Windows since Vista.

Other recent alleged Windows 8 screen shots have shown the "System Reset" capability that Microsoft told OEMs in April 2010 that it planned to add to the coming version of Windows. Some sites also claim that there are mentions of Internet Explorer 10 in some recent Windows 8 builds. In April 2010, Microsoft was telling OEMs that IE 9 would be the version of IE that would be included in Windows 8. My deduction: The IE team has decided to get the lead out, and is on a faster turn-around schedule than expected just a year ago.

Microsoft developers are working on M3, or Milestone 3, of Windows 8 at this point in time. Once M3 is done, which should/could be this summer, Microsoft is expected to make test builds of Windows 8 somewhat more widely available. I've heard from a couple of my contacts that Microsoft could show off Windows 8 to its partners at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July in Los Angeles, if not before. And last I heard, the Softies are still planning to hold a Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in September (most likely in Redmond), and plan to make available around that time either a Community Test Preview or possibly a beta of Windows 8.

Apologies for all the "allegeds" and "supposeds" in this post. Microsoft officials still are not talking about Windows 8, and -- believe it or not -- still not confirming officially that the next version of Windows will be "Windows 8."

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

67 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors waiting with bated breath for a leak

    This summer sure will be fun! Re-installing VMWare in anticipation!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • good teaser article again from Mary Jo

      Hi :)
      Another great article from Mary Jo.
      Thanks and regards from Tom :)
      Tom6
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      My clients running Windows are thrilled. The anticipation will take their minds off all of the time and money they are spending getting Win 7 to work. Luckily they are starting to forget Vista.
      john_gillespie@...
      • Wow, you must have some slow clients

        My mom even knows how to get Windows 7 working, and she is the most technologically illiterate person I know.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

        @john_gillespie@... You need to stop consulting for the monkeys in the zoo, they simply are not going to get computers no matter how much of a new market you think it is. Try humans, they can all get Windows 7 to work.
        terjeb@...
  • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

    How can a version of windows be leaked, or any other software? from what i know those computers used in microsoft, apple etc are not connected to internet, no dvd drive and no usb ports are available. So how can someone "leak" a copy?
    d.marcu
    • Go back and re-read the article. The answer lies within.

      @d.marcu: <i>How can a version of windows be leaked, or any other software? from what i know those computers used in microsoft, apple etc are not connected to internet, no dvd drive and no usb ports are available. So how can someone "leak" a copy?</i><br><br>Specifically the part where it says:<br><br>"These builds may be from one or more select OEMs, who supposedly are finally starting to get private test builds of Windows 8 from Microsoft."
      ye
    • Windows 8 beta was snow leopard

      Windows 9 alpha will be shown at this years Apple WWDC.

      "history vault" inclusion is confusing. The MCSEs have been claiming windows already had this feature;-)
      Richard Flude
      • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

        @Richard Flude

        Still confused by lipstick on a pig ;-)
        tonymcs@...
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      Remember when Win 2003 was hacked and the Chinese were selling it before MicroSoft.
      john_gillespie@...
  • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

    "Windows 8 feature known as ?History Vault.? The WinRumors.com site described History Vault as Microsoft?s answer to Apple?s Time Machine."

    If roles were reversed I'm sure MS would be threatening to sue Apple; but no problems borrowing from them when it's an Apple feature they want to copy.

    Anyway, I don't want tiles on my phone...I certainly don't wan it on my desktop. I'm good. Looks like I'll be on XP all the way to 2014.
    Socratesfoot
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      @Socratesfoot

      They're wrong. Time Machine is actually a clone of Shadow Copy that was introduced in Vista. A bad one at that, since TM doesn't support some of the technologies of NTFS that make Shadow Copy superior. History Vault is basically just a new name for Shadow Copy, with a few improvements.
      floopydoodle
      • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

        @floopydoodle Shadow copy was around in Windows Server 2003
        Ryan_Fischer
      • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

        @floopydoodle I used shadow copy on Windows server 2003 so it was around before Vista and Snowleopard.
        Ryan_Fischer
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      @Socratesfoot
      The article mentions that the "tiled" interface will likely be an optional interface. Meaning that you won't be forced to use it.
      ctleng76
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      @Socratesfoot

      Tiles will most likely only appear if Windows detects a touch screen. Otherwise, you would have access to a desktop UI, which is rumored to be quite interactive, and "3D".
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      @Socratesfoot I think you are un-informed. Microsoft had "Shadow copies" and "prvious versions" and even good ol' Windows Backup in the OS before Apple put the campy star wars light speed animation to it.
      frankwick
      • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

        Too bad you don't understand the differences in the various back-up methods you mention.
        john_gillespie@...
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      @Socratesfoot I second that!
      sowoolumide
    • RE: Windows 8: Beta collectors awaiting with bated breath for a leak

      @Socratesfoot me too
      uptownborg