Microsoft is investigating reports that the code for the next
version of Windows has been leaked onto the internet.
Computer code for an early version of the next consumer release
of the Windows system, codenamed Whistler, found its way onto
several websites earlier this week, according to Windows enthusiast
Whistler is the codename for the first fully-fledged upgrade to
Windows 2000. It will be based on the Windows NT kernel, rather
than the Windows 9x kernel. The next Windows 9x update, codenamed
Millennium, is expected to ship in the third or fourth quarter of
Clive Longbottom, an analyst at Strategy Partners, said
Microsoft should treat any leak as an opportunity to develop better
code, by letting outside developers look at it.
"Microsoft is working with a lot of developers, so it isn't that
surprising that code was leaked. If you get a lot of open source
people looking at Microsoft's code, some will dismiss it but other
will raise issues," he said.
Whistler is at least one year away from release, so any posting
of a pirate version of one of the latest builds on a number of
college and internet sites is doubly embarrassing for
ActiveWin and BetaNews report that Build 2211.1 of Whistler was
posted Tuesday morning and "spread as per usual, like
According to postings on the ActiveWin site, the pirate Whistler
build looks almost identical to Windows 2000 Professional.
"A number of people who installed the leaked build stated there
were a few HTML enhancements to folders, simplifying things for
novice users," said ActiveWin. "For example, the control panel is
now by default an HTML interface, offering access to a few basic
A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that the software giant is
looking into reports of a possible leak.
Other features include a future version of a Microsoft Network
(MSN) client and tighter integration between the operating system
and the browser.
In January, Microsoft said it had dropped work on Neptune - a
consumer version of Windows slated to follow Millennium - and also
on Odyssey, an NT kernel-based follow-on to Windows 2000. Instead,
the software giant said it planned to merge the Neptune and Odyssey
code bases in the form of Whistler.
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