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MS Windows Server 2003 download leak?

Only the eval though...

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Microsoft seems to be leaking code again - a link at http://download.microsoft.com passed to The Register allows free access to what appears to be an ISO image of Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition. The file, x09-22207.iso, is known to have been accessible since last weekend, and as it was still available this morning we presume the link is not yet widely known of. Or perhaps cared about.

The file appears to be connected to the Windows 2003 Server eval programme. That expires after 180 days, and needs to be activated after 14. Eariler this year Microsoft also contrived a leak of a Server 2003 activation key earlier this year. Microsoft has a long history of being unable to keep a lid on direct links to this class of file, and traditionally leaks the location of service pack downloads for the convenience of geeks prior to the the official release date.

A stolen copy of Enterprise Server is however a rather different matter from something more anonymous like a warezed XP Pro. Server 2003 is, obviously, something you'd use to ruin (er, run) a business, where the existence of a high-spec Microsoft network, together with the absence of records of a very large payment, would swiftly become apparent to Microsoft and its agents.

So like the key leak this one seems pretty harmless. But Microsoft's inability to control its own downloads ought surely to be of some concern to Redmond, particularly as the company is trying to position itself as content policeman of choice for the entertainment industry. Or perhaps not - if Windows operating systems were protected by DRM too, well, you wouldn't need to keep control of access to the URLs, would you? ®

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