The Windows enthusiast Web site Neowin.net posted the rumor of the source code leak on Thursday afternoon. Neowin noted that the source for the two older versions of Windows was circulating, but didnt provide any links or further information on where or how to obtain it.(Neowins site is currently unavailable, due to high traffic demands resulting from a pick-up by the Slashdot.org Web site of Neowins post.)
Microsoft said it is taking the report seriously.
"The rumor regarding the availability of Windows source code is based on the speculation of an individual who saw a small section of un-identified code and thought it looked like Windows code. Microsoft is looking into this as a matter of due diligence," said a company spokesperson.
However, the tech news site Betanews.com corroborated reports that the Windows 2000 source code appears to have leaked to the Web and has been available for download on various pirate boards on the Web. Betanews reported that the alleged leaked version of the Windows 2000 source contains 30,915 files and 13.5 million lines of code.
Windows NT 4.0, released by Microsoft in 1996, consists of approximately 16.5 million lines of source code. Windows 2000, which Microsoft shipped in 2000, consists of more than 35 million lines of source code, according to industry estimates.
Editors Note: This story was updated to include more information from the Betanews report.