Updated test versions of Windows 7 were making the rounds on a number of torrent sites on Friday, with many expecting the leak version to be the one that Microsoft distributes shortly as the official "release candidate" version.
Microsoft has also reportedly given "build 7100" to key partners, although Microsoft has not commented on that. The software maker also briefly posted a blog indicating that the release candidate was coming in May, although that blog was later pulled from Microsoft's TechNet Web site.
Blogger Long Zheng has an early look at the leaked code, though he doesn't note much in the way of glaring differences between the RC and earlier test versions.
In its earnings announcement on Thursday, Microsoft said only that it was making progress on the release candidate version, but didn't note that it had reached the milestone or provide a date for its public distribution.
The near-final release candidate version is expected to be the last public milestone before Microsoft finalizes the code for the new operating system. Microsoft has been publicly cagey about when to expect a final release, but it is widely expected to be in time for this year's holiday PC buying season.
A Microsoft representative declined to comment for this report.