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BuildFeed’s shutdown linked with Microsoft

Buildfeed has been an early source of information on upcoming Windows 10 builds. These were often listed well before they were publicly released, which appears not to have sat well with Microsoft, with the straw breaking Microsoft’s back possibly being the above build for foldable devices.

There appears to have been an intensification of pressure on Buildfeed from Microsoft and others to shut down today, resulting in the website pulling its service, leaving only a goodbye message which reads:

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“When I started up BuildFeed over five years ago, I never expected it to grow as large and as widely used as it has been. I’ve not been involved in the day to day running of BuildFeed for over two years now. I left that in the hands of a few trustworthy friends, and I and the users of the site owe a debt of gratitude to these men. Without them, this day would have arrived some time ago.”

“You’ve probably noticed some funky build strings pop up on BuildFeed lately. That’s because a Microsoft employee posted them on BuildFeed. For those interested parties, don’t bother coming to me. I have no IP logs, I have no “inside” insight as to what our mutual friend has been up to. Could you find out who it is? Sure, just look on Twitter and see who was posting build tags ahead of BuildFeed. He’s not been remotely discreet and he handed out the strings to plenty of others before BuildFeed accepted them.”

“The long term future of BuildFeed has been in doubt for some time, but events over the past few days have resolved things in my mind. Given extensive internal pressures and external pressures (and yes, Microsoft is one of those relentless and ever-present external pressures), I have found myself unable to commit to running BuildFeed on the principles it was founded upon. In light of this, I have made the decision to terminate BuildFeed with immediate effect. The truth is that were it not for my failings, this day would not have come; and were it not for the persistent activities by third parties to force us offline, this day would not have come either.”

“The good news for you is that what Tom giveth, Tom cannot always take away. You have the source code, safe on GitLab. Additionally, since many people have contributed to the database of build strings over the years, I’d feel a bit ashamed to take that away, so here’s that database dumped into a JSON file. I would encourage anyone to take up the challenge and continue the desire I had those many years ago, to establish a truly authoritive build list.” – Thomas Hounsell.

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From the above comments, it suggests Microsoft may have started a manhunt for the employee leaking their secrets and was requesting Buildfeed’s logs, who decided to shut down instead. Of course there may be another explanation, but either way a useful community resource appears to have gone under.

Originally posted 2019-01-15 09:01:48.

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