Purporting to be Windows 8 but looking incredibly similar to Windows 7, a very early build of the next operating system from Microsoft has appeared on torrent sites for illegal download.

Build 7850 has been in the grasp of manufacturers for a while, and now it's leaked out into the wide old world, and while only the bravest of souls will be willing to sail the pirate-plagued seas in order to download it, and subsequently install the invariably bugged OS, screenshots have appeared for the rest of us to have a jolly good gander at.

From what we can see, at the moment it looks to be a slightly tweaked version of the current Windows 7, even down to the simple fact that it's still called Windows 7 Enterprise in some of the shots.

There's also no sign of the ribbon interface hinted by the previous set of "leaked" screenshots.

Ho well, time will tell. But there's one thing we can be sure of, if genuine, some slippery-fingered employee, Redmond-based or otherwise, is going to get a leather-booted enema.

Genuine or not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...