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MS gets leaked Win2k USB 2.0 drivers pulled, cites DMCA

But still not shipping the 'finished' ones...

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Microsoft has acted to suppress unofficial/unauthorised sources for the USB 2.0 drivers for Windows 2000, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in a complaint to the hosting company of Littlewhitedog.com, (LWD) which has been hosting leaked drivers since January.

In response LWD has pulled the drivers, and the other site hosting them, Digital Silence, has also deemed it prudent to cease and desist, with some encouragement from its host. Which doesn't mean the drivers aren't still out there, but it does mean they've been pretty much consigned to warezland, Microsoft having made it clear by its actions that anybody not in a position to run and hide is going to get a take-down.

It is entirely unclear what is so sensitive about people being able to get hold of Win2k USB 2.0 RC2 drivers that look pretty near finished, and that are likely to be at least as operational as the last available beta ones, which expired when WinXP shipped. Nor is it particularly clear what's so hard about finishing the drivers, if these actually aren't the finished ones. Microsoft has been regularly telling Jeff Roberts of USBNews that they'll be out "soon" since January.

Jeff's view, which you'll find here, is that the drivers are being deliberately withheld in order to beat people into upgrading to WinXP, and it's quite possible there's an element of this to the matter, given that Microsoft operating systems do get themselves deprioritised, starting slowly then gathering pace into unsupported territory.

But quite a bit of it is probably down to Microsoft holding back and letting the hardware companies run with the drivers once they're tested with their kit, and some more of it the responsibility of Microsoft lawyers who won't let company code be dispensed by people who haven't signed the right bits of paper. Nevertheless it's irksome for people who bought hardware that doesn't come with Win2k drivers, and the longer it goes on, the more suspicious it's going to look. ®

Related stories:
RC2 Win2k USB 2.0 drivers leak
WinXP USB 2.0 driver slides out, Win2k version MIA?

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