As we all know, ISOs of Windows 7 in its various incarnations are available via Torrent or other peer-to-peer services.
For us, there is a substantial risk to our business and to our client’s business if we went ahead and downloaded and used any of those Windows 7 ISOs.
What are the risks?
How do we know that the code has not been altered in some way, shape, or form?
For many, the “what ifs” do not carry much weight.
For some, they may have an ability to dump the contents of the system’s memory once the OS was fully loaded and analyze it to see if anything surreptitious is there. For those that can do it, this may be a required step before using the OS and all of its features as a daily driver.
While we could isolate the installed OS in a VM and monitor its behaviour, at what point does the time and energy put into this discovery process make sense for our clients and for us?
Every decision we make when it comes to investigating new products, new patches coming down the pipe, new pre-release software, permitted production software updates, or any product that looks like it can become a part of our I.T. Solutions package need to be carefully vetted for risks and benefits.
To us, the risks are too high to trust an illegitimately downloaded ISO of Windows 7 or any other software product for that matter versus the “benefit” of working with a newer version of the product.
So, we will wait patiently for April 30th (previous blog post) and the ability to download the RC version of Windows 7 via our TechNet subscription.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book