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Vista Beta Now On Tap Via BitTorrent

Although Microsoft has sworn off using BitTorrent to push downloads of Vista Beta 2, a pair of Windows enthusiasts have stepped up in its place.

Technology bloggers Jake Ludington and Chris Pirillo have set up VistaTorrent.com, a site that serves up a torrent of the 32- and 64-bit English language versions of the operating system's beta.

Ludington and Pirillo also provided a checksum to verify the massive file once it's downloaded, and point users to free BitTorrent clients and checksum checkers.

"This is not a crack, this is not a hack, this is not software piracy -- it's unofficial mirroring with official validation," the pair wrote on their VistaTorrent.com site. "You can get a Windows Vista Beta 2 product key for free through Microsoft, as the OS won't install without one."

Microsoft hasn't asked that the site stop serving the torrent, but it did send the pair a message that they posted on the page. "While we understand people may be looking for faster ways to download it, we continue to encourage anyone interested in receiving the code to visit the [official] web site to obtain a valid product key," the Microsoft statement read. "Any pirated product keys, obtained from sources other than Microsoft, will be closed down immediately."

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