Microsoft is taking tough measures to find out who leaked a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Home Server to an IT blog.
The preview version was posted on TheHotfix.net blog by a user named "Richard" soon after it was released to a small group of testers.
In a email to testers obtained by the IDG News Service, Kevin Beares, the Windows Home Server community lead at Microsoft, wrote to individuals whose name includes 'Richard' on the software giant’s “Most Valuable Professionals” list, telling them they will not have access to the beta until he finds out who leaked the software.
"For right now, you have no access to the beta until I can find the Richard who posted the WHS (Windows Home Server) CTP on this site," the email said. "I will work with the Connect Admin team to determine which one of you is the real culprit of this leak."
Beares apologised for having to punish all MPVs with the name Richard by withholding the CTP, and said if the person who posted the release "comes clean", he may "have some discretion as to what actions I take".
Windows Home Server is a new version of the Windows operating system that lets users set up secure networks of PCs at home so they can share and store media files. A Beta 2 of the software is available now, and the final release is expected to ship before the end of the year.
Ethan Allen, the owner of the Hotfix.net site who works as a quality assurance manager for a US software company, said Microsoft also contacted him to ask him to remove the Windows Home Server preview from his site. It had been moved from the main site to a private download page, he said.
Allen said he had caught flak from Microsoft since posting fixes that he claims will be in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 on his site last week. The company asked him to take down the software pack, which he did. But he said Microsoft had “been on my case about other things", including the Windows Home Server preview.
Microsoft had put "spies" in the forums on TheHotfix.net in an attempt to find out who was leaking software, Allen said. He also claimed Microsoft had asked him to provide the names of people leaking Microsoft files to his site – a request Allen said he declined.
Joel Sider, a spokesman for the Windows Home Server group at Microsoft, said the company distributed new test builds confidentially to select testers so they could work out the bugs before the software was released to the broader testing group. Microsoft was therefore concerned if unauthorised users got access to the software.