Regardless of the title of this, I’m mainly aiming this at the copies of Windows 7 RC that are being distributed via .torrent files. Yes I know there have been “leaked” copies of Windows 7 out, but the Release Candidate is available from Microsoft now. So, my question is what do you have to gain by downloading it via .torrent files?
Do you get an extended license key? I doubt that highly. The keys that you get from the public download are good until June 2010 (at one report). And the Release Candidate is going to be essentially the same thing as the RTM version (unless there are “show-stopper bugs” in it). Since Microsoft is allowing you to use the keys for 13 months, they’ll update the release candidate along with the RTM versions that you’ll buy.
Do you get an advanced copy that “no one else has”? Um… NO. You may have gotten an advanced copy that people who are willing to wait for didn’t have. But, unless you were the FIRST person to receive a copy of the file, you aren’t getting something that “no one else has”. You’re getting something that your friends may not have. But truthfully, if your friends weren’t already running the beta version, they probably don’t care.
Are you getting a hacked copy that will run on anything? Well now, we’re getting closer to the mark here. But sadly, no. You’re getting the same copy that everyone else has (with a little more). You aren’t getting something with the “Blue Badge” (which unlocked features in the pre-Beta 1 versions).
So, what are you gaining by downloading Windows 7 RC from a .torrent file? You’re gaining a system that will be PwN3d from the moment that you hook it to the Internet. See one version of the .torrent file has two files in it. One is a setup.exe file, and the other is a virus. The setup.exe file has been “hacked” to automatically call (and install) the virus as part of the Windows 7 installation.
What does this mean? It means that if you’re upgrading from your Vista or XP computer, then there’s a good chance that all of your passwords and other information are being given out. And if you’re doing a clean install, then your passwords and other information are SLOWLY being given out (slowly because you’ll have to reenter them one at a time).
And you’re not “Sticking it to the man” either. Why? Because there’s a really good chance that whatever “key” you installed with is going to expire in June, 2010 along with everyone else’s. Not counting that if you get caught seeding the file, Microsoft can sue you for a lot of money. And given the legal status with Copyrights, you could end up in jail. It’s doubtful, but really now, is it worth the risk? For something that you can get at Windows 7 anyhow…
Have a great day:)