Only a couple of days after Microsoft released Windows 8.1 RTM to PC manufacturers it has become available to pirates. Files in the ISO format, that can easily be burned to a DVD, have appeared on torrent sites. The Release to Manufacturer (RTM) version can’t be activated with the same method as Windows 8 as Microsoft has introduced a new version of their Key Management Services protocol.
Windows 8 uses KMS version 5 and Windows 8.1 is using and updated version, KMS protocol version 6.
The current leak is comes from a Russian hacking group that also leaked Windows 7 and Windows 8. The group claims that the ISO files are all original Microsoft images and the group has released both regular as enterprise versions. All are in English and both x86 and x64 releases are available. Users around the web claim that the ISO install and are valid.
Windows 8.1, currently available as a preview , is the first major update to Windows 8 and adds several new features to the OS. It makes it possible to boot directly to the traditional desktop again, it adds a start tip as replacement of the start menu and several Metro applications are updated. Microsoft has also added the option to use an animated background and the company has added more help functionality for users to understand the new functionality of the operating system better.