Windows XP for everyone
Free copies available to everyone of Windows XP, even if only in beta. Not a new gimmick from Microsoft to make their operating system even more widespread than it is but the result of an embarrassing mistake by those responsible for managing the private download pages of Redmond.
Yesterday, in fact, according to the online tabloid The Register, anyone who attended some newsgroups and chatlines dedicated to the Windows world would have known how to obtain the latest build of XP by downloading it directly from the Microsoft site. It would have been enough to access a certain FTP address on Conxion (the provider that provides the download service for Microsoft) and take the package marked with the RC1 version. All without password and no other form of protection.
As said, it was probably an error. Maybe Microsoft simply intended to put the file online (more than 500 megs) on a reserved area to give access to the release to its partners and third parties but in doing so it must have committed some oversight "forgetting" to protect the file and place it in a reserved area.
However, the result was that yesterday, even if it was the almost sacred holiday in the USA on July 4 that determines the suspension of all activities, many Windows fans and curious have downloaded the beta and now it is likely that it is spreading in half the world. Even assuming that Redmond noticed the error and that the file was removed from public access, the RC1 version of XP will hardly not become the most popular beta on pirated sites.