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How does Microsoft prevent leaks?

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  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Simple enough question... how come we don't see the nightly builds up on TorrentSpy?

  • User profile image
    Manip

    They make barrier to entry requirements at Microsoft so high that the staff feel a sense of self-worth being able to make it in and thus could loose that positive feeling if, for example, they stole the nightly build.

    Or they pay the developers just enough to not make it worth while?

  • User profile image
    out180

    I sat and thought about this for a couple of minutes.

    I cannot come up with a single reason why I would be motivated to swipe the nightly build if I worked for Microsoft.  That is, of course, just my thoughts.  I'm not sure what the motivation might be for someone who would do it.

    Don't get me wrong, I too have often wondered what measures MS takes to prevent things of this nature.  Perhaps my background brings that question up in my mind more than others.  Nevertheless it is interesting.

  • User profile image
    Xenon101

    I would be interested to see a real answer posted here at some point rather than just have a few people guess and never really come to a conclusion.

    Anyone from M$ care to share? Big Smile

  • User profile image
    Tyler Brown

    What would anyone have to gain from leaking a nightly build? They'd have a hell of a lot to lose if they got caught, and I think that in itself is enough of a deterant. How many companies would want to hire you after you got fired from Microsoft for breaching protocol and leaking company property?

  • User profile image
    ricodued

    I think a lot of it has to do with where the employee comes from. For example, I'd bet very, very few Microsoft employees have ever been close to the distribution part of software piracy.

    For example, the Halo 2 leak was caused by an 'insider-man' at the manufacturing plant. He clearly was experienced with the distribution of pirated software.

    Also, why on earth would you pirate a nightly build? It'd be much better to just do the CTPs and Betas, but those are distributed anyways by people with MSDN subscriptions. Going through the process of sneaking out a nightly build (might not be too hard if employees test on home machines) and putting it onto the internet (either by BitTorrent or whatever), would take forever. So long, in fact, that by the time you downloaded one nightly build, your copy would be outdated.

    Also, are the changes day-to-day in the nightly builds substantial enough to warrant an OS upgrade, even from, say, week to week? My guess is no.

  • User profile image
    out180

    I think I originally approached this thinking about source rather than actual binaries.  Imagine the frenzy that would cause. 

  • User profile image
    ricodued

    out180 wrote:

    I think I originally approached this thinking about source rather than actual binaries.  Imagine the frenzy that would cause. 



    In that case, yes, I've wondered what that hasn't happened before (besides the W2000 leak, thats the only one I know of).

    Except the consequences. If you were an employee with access to the source to say, Windows Vista, would you leak the source if you knew Microsoft would ruthlessly hunt you down?

    Imagine what Microsoft would do to a source leaker...

    And as mentioned above, good luck getting another job in tech after that.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    ricodued wrote:
    And as mentioned above, good luck getting another job in tech after that.


    I guess Novel or RedHat would scoop you up soooo fast. (Think about it, RedHat has nothing to lose from the leaking of their source-code and they get to hire someone who'se got the entire Windows source code, think of the progress they could make with WINE, Transgaming, and Crossover Office)

  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    W3bbo wrote:
    ricodued wrote: And as mentioned above, good luck getting another job in tech after that.


    I guess Novel or RedHat would scoop you up soooo fast.


    Would they? How do they know they can trust you with their intellectual property? With other property?
    Untrustworthiness usually doesn't pay. People who betray one side will often discover that "their" side doesn't trust them much either.

  • User profile image
    Tensor

    Why do people who work at fort Knox not steal gold bars? The source for windows is an incredibly valuable thing. Anyone leaking it is probably not only going to be subject of being immediatly and spectacularly fired, I imagine that that kind of theft would leave you open to criminal charges as well.

    And who would employ you? No-one would scoop you up - open or close source is irrevelant. You would be a proven thief. If you are willing to steal your companies most valuable asset, what else would you be willing to do?

  • User profile image
    androidi

    I am going a bit off topic here.

    Nightly builds? For the fun of doing clean installs every day?

    How about auto updating CTP? I'd much rather have bleeding edge updates automatically even if it meant continous breakage. If something breaks, it's auto-reported to MS server along with trace of what you were doing and so on.

  • User profile image
    erik_

    They work for Microsoft, if they leak windows there montly paycheck can be at risk. Not only for the fact they might get fired. (They will probaly also sue you, because I gues you at least sign something usefull for Microsoft when you start working there).

    Let's say (not a really possible senario), tommorow the nightly build get leaked, a lot of people look at it and say well, do not buy vista or any other Microsoft product they sucks. Microsoft gets in trouble because the only one buying Microsoft products is Bill Gates himself with a company discount, still Microsoft is in big financial trouble, they are short in money and it's fire employee time..

    It's is stealing from the workplace you work. If you steal enough from the company you work they go bankrupt. Where is your job then? Worked once for the company that got bankrupt by massive theft isn't looking good on your ressume even if you where not the thief.

    Sure you are in luck if they don't trace you, but do you want to take that risk? Leaking builds isn't kinda the thing you make millions on by placing it online as torrent, there are only costs and risks for yourself.

    Would you hire the person that is a possible thiefs or the one that has no signs of criminal activity?

    Novell or any other company would be damn stupid to just hire employees that might be a risk to there million dollar cow. Just like you don't let some random person from the street work on your expensive car.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    androidi wrote:
    How about auto updating CTP?

    People raise this point every now and again, and it's just not feasible:
    1. It's not a real world scenario: nobody is ever going to upgrade one beta version to another beta version when the product is released, so it yields no valuable test data for MS. It becomes impossible to tell if bugs are caused by the beta or by the beta-over-beta upgrade process. Once the product goes RTM there are only two supported scenarios: clean install and upgrade over a previous released product version. So during the beta, these are the only scenarios that produce test data that can be used.
    2. Creating and packaging updates, which is basically maintaining a CTP as if it was a real product, would be a lot of work. Especially if you consider that updates for a real product are usually branched from the main codebase, while these wouldn't be, combined with the state of flux that the main codebase is constantly in would make ensuring the quality of the updates a nightmare.
    3. Too many different possible configurations makes it extremely hard to reproduce bugs (which is already very hard), and also very difficult for testers to talk about the product in the beta newsgroups, since every post would need to be accompanied by a detailed description of which updates you may or may not be running.

    I'm sure there's more.

    And nightly build leakage doesn't happen often, but it does happen. I'm not sure if it has happened for Vista yet, but for XP there were definitely occasionally builds available on warez sites that nobody outside of MS should have.

  • User profile image
    Charles

    androidi wrote:


    How about auto updating CTP? I'd much rather have bleeding edge updates automatically even if it meant continous breakage. If something breaks, it's auto-reported to MS server along with trace of what you were doing and so on.



    I like this idea! Thing is, a CTP is not a daily build, that is, it has to be functional to the extent that basic things, like being able to connect to to a network, will function out of the box Smiley That said, would be really cool if you were able to auto-update CTP version to CTP version, without having to think about much (imagine if you didn't need to worry about what works with what, etc, but you accepted the fact that things may break from build to build, but build to build would be predictably usable and useful...).

    A great deal of work in being done with our CTP story, generally. This much is true. So, please stay tuned... Wink

    C

  • User profile image
    Charles

    About how we prevent software/IP leaks? Well, besides the technical barriers put in place, if you leak Windows, for example, not only will you get fired, go to jail, and get your (I need to watch my language) kicked...We tend not to hire stupid people. Does that answer your question?C

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    Charles wrote:
    We tend not to hire stupid people.


    I'm missing something here.  Are you saying only stupid people would leak things?

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Maurits wrote:
    Charles wrote: We tend not to hire stupid people.


    I'm missing something here.  Are you saying only stupid people would leak things?


    No, I was being a smart @#S... The point is, if you think you can get away with leaking something like Windows, then you ARE stupid. That's all. 

    C

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