Join Date: Jan 2010
01-18-2011, 12:37 PM
As far as its genuineness I can only tell you that there is too much evidence in favour of this being the final version.....the actual version number is exactly what all the various articles are saying it's going to be.
Here's one quote:
This is a heavily publicized leak, and it has happened before. What must be understood is that the following facts are in everyone's favor and a catalyst for the downloads and claims we have been seeing. Here are the positives about this release, and the reason for some clarity and certainty in this release: |
Here are some of the cons:
- Digital Signature: The verification options are all important, but in the case of a leaked Service Pack near RTM, a most important variable in this instance is the file's digital signature from Microsoft. The digital signature does not confirm that this is the final release, or do anything of the sort. What it does do, is give a very good indication that this file was signed by a Microsoft Certificate Authority (CA) and that it is valid. This digital signature does contain the information that would invalidate the file if it were altered after the file was signed. This means, despite media fluff about downloading a plate of worms, that the file, on a fundamental basis, is very likely to not have been tampered with in any way whatsoever for so long as the digital signature remains valid. This information ties in with root certificates that are pre-installed from Microsoft on nearly every Windows operating system and updated when it becomes necessary (if the private key they use becomes compromised or the signing authority's authenticity expires). When this happens, it is still possible for them to retract root certificates from your system.
- No Time Bomb: When leaked copies or development versions of Service Packs have appeared in the past, they have almost always contained a pre-installed time bomb, that will dismiss the product key on your computer and automatically shutdown after a set period of time. We, as well as many others, have confirmed, that unlike other leaked builds, this is not the case.
- No Evaluation Watermark: Prior leaked builds of Service Pack 1 contained a evaluation watermark on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. This watermark makes it clear to the user of the software that this is a copy that is either used for internal testing or evaluation purposes. It will usually include the internal build number on the desktop itself. Again, this is not the case with this Service Pack.
- Origin of Release: Many news organizations have reported that it is very likely this build was leaked to OEMs (i.e. the large conglomerates that sell computers, hardware, and partner closely with Microsoft). If this is true, it is highly likely, and with great certainty that this is the RTM. On the 14th of January, various reports were circulating that Service Pack 1 was sent out to TechNet/MSDN to prepare for a coordinated release. It seems that when this happens, these files are put on hold until a great deal of preparation can be made to make them available to subscribers of these services. Prior to the 14th, leaked builds were appearing, however, this, by far, seems to be the most complete of all builds and coincides with when development likely ended. This release coincides with other important dates. For instance, the Windows Update Blocker Toolkit for Service Pack 1 was built shortly thereafter. It is extremely unlikely it would have been built before Service Pack 1 was finalized. In the past, we were able to identify that Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista was complete by cross-referencing the build number with Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) information. The initial rumor was that someone at TechNet Russia may have leaked these files. One thing is for sure is again that they were digitally signed by Microsoft and not altered after that signing.
- Registry, Version Information: After the Service Pack is installed, it is possible to take a closer look. When looking at "winver", "systeminfo" and System Information, and various other "quick tools" to gather information, we get an interesting look at the aftermath of the installation. Software like Lavalys Everest Engineer Edition give a quick look at this data. This information all points to a finalized release. Normally, in many areas of the OS, you would see "Service Pack 1, Build xxxx" with the build number being indicated where xxxx is. This is not the case in this release. When looking at registry entries, we also see no indication that this is a debug or development version.
- Language Compatibility: Perhaps one of the most convincing pieces of evidence that this may be the RTM is that the build contains compatibility for all 36 localized language packs. It is likely to be released to MSDN/TechNet and we will know if the digital signatures are the same, MD5, and so on. Likely too, then, this will also pop up on Microsoft.com as the redistributable version for IT professionals (the extremely large version and not the one you'd get from Windows Update necessarily). Only the necessary files for your version of Windows are installed with these files, but they contain the pre-requisites to be installed on any version of Windows 7.
- These files are not officially released by Microsoft yet, and there could be many reasons for this. More experienced users will remember that Windows Vista SP1 RTM leaked significantly early and was an extremely important support file due to the fact that it updated the Windows kernel to Windows Server 2008 standards and brought an important level of stability to that OS. Still, naysayers believed it was not the official version until the very day the exact same build was released by Microsoft.
- Microsoft will not officially comment on leaked builds, whether they are really the RTM or not. This seems to be because the company follows a strict timetable, especially when their support files are complete. They will not be pressured into releasing anything early just because it hits the Internet. Even though there is certainty that this is an official build, there is still that very small chance it is not the final build and we will never know with 100% certainty until the official release.
- There is always confusion when something is not officially released via Windows Update or other means. This means that people, without proper instruction, may install the support files without taking proper precautionary measures such as performing a full backup prior, and so forth. Instructions may be misconstrued, incompatibilities may arise, and debate will be commonplace.
- If you already have all Windows Updates, installing this particular service pack, may be somewhat pointless. While there is a good list of new features, it is not going to improve performance or stability intensely for you.
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Main PC: Alienware x58/Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 10 Pro x64