The race to RTM occurs even in pirate waters.
Leaked builds of Windows 7 hitting file sharing networks are claiming to be "very, very possible FINAL RTM build."
More than one piracy scene group today released iso disc images that bear the build string and filename "7600.16385.090713-1255_x86fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRMCULFRER_EN_DVD.iso."
It's unclear how different this is from build 7600 that leaked onto the internet last Sunday, though the filename indicates that it was compiled on July 13, 2009 at 12:55 p.m., making it a few days newer than the one previously leaked.
Microsoft did follow up with a comment on July 13, saying, "Just because a single build may have 'leaked' it does not signal the completion of a milestone such as RTM."
Furthermore, Microsoft's Windows Communication Manager Brandon LeBlanc warned users against using leaked builds of Windows 7. "As always, beware of what you download. There are many bogus copies of Windows 7 floating around the Internet. More often than not, they contain a rather nice malware payload," he said.
"When Windows 7 hits RTM, it will be announced here," LeBlanc continued. "Until that happens, any builds you are likely to see on the web are either not the final bits or are laced with malicious code."