While software leaks are inevitable, Windows 7 has been particularly leaky during the course of its development. Hot on the heels of the leaks of near-RTM builds onto the internet, a new Windows 7 package has leaked -- an active copy of Ultimate edition.
The new version comes courtesy of what appears to be a legitimate Lenovo OEM Ultimate edition DVD .ISO file, first posted on a Chinese web forum. The boot.wim file was cracked to yield the OEM-SLP key and the OEM activation certificate.
The data obtained turned out to be pure paydirt. The key is the master OEM key, capable of activating OEM builds deliver to (and subsequently leaked from) any of the major OEMs -- Dell, HP, Acer, or Lenovo. Further it reveals that Windows 7's OEM digital signing system uses the .xrm-ms extension, just like Windows Vista.
While leaks of Windows 7 are nothing new, this leak presents a particularly dangerous threat to Microsoft. The company is left with only a few options -- changing the master OEM key, adding a second activation key for future builds, or changing its signing system. Any of the possibilities will potentially throw OEMs off course, so Microsoft may opt to take no action at all
Microsoft has not yet commented on the developments.
Windows 7 will see and official release on October 22nd and RTM builds will reach OEMs on August 6th.