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Windows 8 build locked down to prevent leaks?

Microsoft is allegedly securing its Windows 8 Developer Preview with lockdowns to stop unauthorized people from accessing the build and leaking certain features.

Microsoft is reportedly locking down its latest Windows 8 build to prevent unauthorized people from installing it and leaking details about certain features, WinRumors reported yesterday.

Other purported details about the latest Windows 8 build, known as 8064, were revealed earlier this week by WinRumors, which is a Windows enthusiast site, and other sites. The new build is apparently the Windows 8 Developer Preview that Microsoft is likely to unveil at its Build conference next month.

In an attempt to thwart unauthorized users from accessing the new developer build, Microsoft has apparently set up unique product keys that are now required to install the operating system.

An internal e-mail allegedly from Intel and published by WinRumors announced that generic product keys previously included with the builds would no longer be supported or available. Instead, people working with the new build would have to obtain new, special product keys. Though the e-mail is specific to Intel, tech site The Next Web sees it as unlikely that Intel would be singled out for this new process.

In a further attempt to lock down the new build from leaks, Microsoft has also reportedly taken steps to prevent users from hacking into DLL files to uncover hidden features, said WinRumors, citing information from users posting at the My Digital Life forum.

One poster on the forum who allegedly managed to peek at the new build revealed a few of the changes, including a new boot-up screen, new wallpaper, and an Internet Explorer 10 Developer Preview, but no Windows Media Center or Windows DVD Maker.

Related stories:
• Windows 8 to be released to manufacturing by April?
• Windows 8 prerelease launching in coming months
• Microsoft lists 'App Store' as a Windows 8 feature

Microsoft President Steven Sinofsky said in a blog earlier this week that the company will unveil a prerelease version of Windows 8 in the coming months. Though WinRumors believes he was likely referring to the Developer Preview edition, Sinofsky's blog seemed geared toward more than just developers, so an actual beta of the new OS could still surface over the next several months.

In response to a request for comment, a Microsoft representative said the company had nothing to share at this time.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. PT with response from Microsoft.