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Microsoft Shuts Off Vista Torrent

Windows enthusiasts Jake Ludington and Chris Pirillo said they set up to help Microsoft get Beta 2 into users' hands, but Microsoft sees it differently.

A Web site that had been serving up Windows Vista Beta 2 via BitTorrent has stopped distributing the preview after receiving a cease-and-desist e-mail from Microsoft, the site operators announced Thursday.

Windows enthusiasts Jake Ludington and Chris Pirillo had set up to help Microsoft get Beta 2 in users' hands, the pair said earlier this week.

Microsoft saw it differently.

"We hereby give notice of these activities to you and request that you take expeditious action to remove or disable access to the material described above, and thereby prevent the illegal reproduction and distribution of this software via your company's network," read the text of the Microsoft e-mail Ludington and Pirillo posted on the site.

The two acknowledged in a statement that they have complied.

"We were only trying to help Microsoft by doing this, assuming the costs and responsibilities associated with serving and seeding larger files. We did not alter, crack, hack, or patch any of Microsoft's files - merely provided a mirror for them when Microsoft was worried that 'people might have problems with World Cup viewing, etc.' due to the high demand of Windows Vista Beta 2," said Ludington and Pirillo.

Microsoft has reported problems in delivering Beta 2 electronically, at one point even suggesting that if it added more bandwidth or servers, the Internet itself could be affected. Since last Friday, it's recommended on its own Web site that users order the DVD rather than download the 3.5-4.4GB file.

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