Dom, all of these "leaks" and "pirate sites" make me wonder about Microsoft and a Marco Polo Bridge Incident. I think I saw my first Win-8-is-Positive headline yesterday, and that's the first one from a non-Redmond street address. (Of course, "the check's in the mail" covers that option, too.)
But everything else is somewhere between mild to less.
With so much unhappy (ie, not even 51% positive) press, I wonder if MS wouldn't be wise to seed the marketplace with ample and easy distro's? So what if they give away a million or five million copies? They're all but conceding this possibility with the $39.95 upgrade price.
With all the new validation processes installed, it's sort of like heroin dealers in alleys. "Psst, c'mere, kid - try a few of these..." and let users enjoy THIS version of Win8 for months or so... then SP1 or Blue (much like a strangled person's lips become - hmmm?) arrives, the alley dealer can stick out his hand and demand money.
And claiming these illegal sites to be such, MS could be fanning the flames of interest for a very particular strata of computer users. B'rer Rabbit pleading "Don' throw me in no briar bush - puh-leeze!"
Kind of like police departments delivering "Invitation to Free Stuff" instead of mailing out indictments to their Most Wanted.