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Office 12 Preview Leaks To Web

An early version of Office 12, Microsoft's next-generation application suite, appears to have been leaked and may be available from several sites.

An early version of Office 12, Microsoft's next-generation application suite, has been leaked and is available from several sites, a Windows enthusiast Web site reported Tuesday.

Originally reported by the Flexbeta site, then repeated by Netherlands-based Steven Bink on his site, the news was confirmed by users commenting on the former. In those comments, users included links to at least three different BitTorrent and FTP sites where the Office 12 files could be downloaded.

BitTorrent breaks large files into chunks and distributes them among multiple users; when others download the file, they’re actually retrieving it from several sources simultaneously, essentially splitting the chore among machines.

According to one poster on Flexbeta, the Office 12 preview was marked as version 12.0.3111.1010, and at least one of the suite's applications had a build date of June 27, 2005.

Another poster dissed the downloaders for being conned into grabbing an old, unstable preview. "[You're] a bunch of 'wannabes,'" wrote someone identified only as "jroc." "This thing was thrown together back in June by programmers to just play with some codes....hahahah!!!..even the talk on Microsoft Beta News Group has many laughing."

Microsoft did not immediately respond to questions about any legal action it might take against sites hosting the leaked Office.

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