Leaked builds of Windows 7 available for download via torrent trackers have been accompanying the development of the next iteration of Windows since the operating system was in Milestone 1 stage. As Windows 7 evolved to M2, M3, Beta and pre-Release Candidate, a steady flow of leaked development milestones have made it into the wild and are up for grabs for any user with a BitTorrent client. However, Microsoft indicated that all such releases put end users at risk because there's no telling how the source of the leaked builds tampered with the bits.
“If there's a thing that we absolutely do not recommend to end users, it's that they should download interim builds of Windows 7 from torrent trackers,” revealed Tudor Galos, Windows Business Group Lead at Microsoft Romania, exclusively to Softpedia. “Galos indicated that Microsoft’s official channels should be considered as the sole source of Windows 7 development milestones. “Why? Because many leaked releases can be affected by hackers.”
Galos underlined that Windows 7 interim images could be reversed engineered, with the resulting image being made available on BitTorrent websites. He warned that leaked interim builds of Windows 7 could very well contain malicious software that could put end users' machines and sensitive data at risk.
“End users should not play around with leaked Windows 7 builds, because they are not official, supported releases. It's best that they use only Microsoft’s website to download Windows 7 bits, accessing builds that come with certain guarantees, and with recommendations, security guidelines, deployment and usage guidelines, and that allow for feedback to be sent to Microsoft,” Galos concluded.
The latest leaked development milestone of Windows 7 is Build 7106, which followed Build 7077 in the wild. According to Microsoft, via WinSuperSite, the gap between 7077 and 7106 can be explained because of the Windows 7 build forking procedure. The move is designed to permit the Windows team to develop Windows 7 Release Candidate and Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing) builds in parallel. In this regard, Build 7077 belongs to the RC-branch, while Build 7106 is from the RTM-branch.