Microsoft just confirmed to me that it has completed an investigation of allegations made by my Windows 7 Secrets co-author, Rafael Rivera, concerning the unauthorized and illegal use of open source code in its Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. The software giant has found that it did, indeed, use the code in question. Here's their official statement about this issue:
As you've likely read, we've been investigating a report that the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool might contain GPLv2 code. The WUDT is a free tool which was offered by the Microsoft Store that enabled customers to create bootable USB drives or DVD backup media from the electronic software (ESD) edition of Windows 7 that comes in an ISO format.
After looking at the code in question, we are now able to confirm this was indeed the case, although it was not intentional on our part. While we had contracted with a third party to create the tool, we share responsibility as we did not catch it as part of our code review process. We have furthermore conducted a review of other code provided through the Microsoft Store and this was the only incident of this sort we could find.
When it comes to our attention that a Microsoft component contains third party code, our aim is to be respectful of the terms under which that code is being shared. As a result, we will be making the source code as well as binaries for this tool available next week under the terms of the General Public License v2 as described here, and are also taking measures to apply what we have learned from this experience for future code reviews we perform.
Bravo, both to Microsoft for owning up to this and to Rafael for doing what he does. It astonished both Rafael and I over the past week that so many weirdos came out of the woodwork to misrepresent his claim and complain that, somehow, one example of source code theft wasn't enough. One instance of theft is still theft, people. Now that Microsoft has admitted to what it did, I hope the rest of the doubters see the light as well.