On Wednesday, Microsoft released Windows 8 to manufacturing. Now, barely two days later, we’re hearing that the same Windows 8 build has already leaked into the wild, well ahead of the operating system’s October 26 commercial launch.
As CNet News reports, the leaked build appears to be Windows 8 Enterprise N. The "N" means the operating system doesn’t come bundled with Windows Media Player, per a European Commission ruling from several years back. CNet News notes the rapidity of the leak, which is surprising, given that MSDN developers aren’t scheduled to get their hands on the RTM version of Windows 8 until August 15.
WinBeta has posted some additional details, including a screenshot that looks fairly legit. The site says the leaked build can be found on BitTorrent sites as a 2.83GB ISO file with the file name, "MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.8.ENTERPRISE-N.RTM.X64.VOLUMN.ENGLISH.NON_BOOT_DVD-SAMOVARWZT." Note the "NON_BOOT" part. WinBeta speculates that the ISO might lack the files necessary to make it bootable; it also points out that the 2.83GB file size is a little on the small side. For reference, the x64 version of the Windows 8 Release Preview weighs in at 3.3GB.
It’s not clear whether the leak is genuine or not, in other words, but I’m sure adventurous users will have no problems figuring that out for themselves—so long as they don’t mind stepping on the wrong side of the law. Either way, it almost seems like a given that we’ll see further leaks after the MSDN release on August 15.