Commentary: Bill, Your Windows is Leaking!

As Windows XP moves along its beta track it would be naive of anyone to believe that the operating system itself, as well as various other bits and pieces, were not being passed around on the net like mashed potatoes at a Thanksgiving dinner. BetaNews itself has seen many an e-mail come through directing us to different Web sites and persons playing host to this "Thanksgiving feast" of Microsoft software.

Just today, a Web site is offering Microsoft's Windows Media Player 8 Beta 2 for download. WMP8 was supposed to be confined to the Windows XP beta test and only ship with copies of the OS, a decision which has raised anti-trust concerns.

Over the last two weeks numerous people have pointed out Internet Explorer 6 downloads; not just Beta 1, but various interim builds between it and the upcoming Beta. Aside from changing some icons, you really are not missing all too much yet.


Microsoft does seem to be working on more security features for the browser, something it has been criticized on in the past. And the addition of the "Media Bar" (formerly known as the "Personal Bar") lets users search the net, grab weather and news information, and play media clips directly in the browser via a dockable player. The Media Bar at this point very closely resembles the Netscape Sidebar, with the addition of the aforementioned media player.

Microsoft will seemingly never be able to stop its leaky Windows or components. They are regularly passed around the net from person to person and Web site to Web site.

Microsoft may be a multi-billion dollar company, but does that make it right? People love to get these early glimpses to what the future holds, what can companies do to stop it? The demand for these leaked products is so great these days that anyone is willing to risk their employment.

It is well known that if you want a Microsoft beta, or any retail release, you could probably get it from the Net in a short amount of time - without paying. This problem has plagued Microsoft for years, and will continue to do so in the future. Microsoft has announced a product activation feature, which seems to be causing a PR nightmare, rather than stopping pirates. Is there any way to stop the leaking?

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