Once upon a time, leaks never really saw the light of day. They were forbidden to be posted, they were never shared and those who ended up posting them were downright scolded for their actions. Times change though and now, leaks are a fairly common thing for better or worse. For those who like to live on the 'bleeding edge' they're great and exciting. A sneak peek into what's being worked on and what could be upcoming. The forums tear them apart, find out what has been fixed, what remains broken, what's new, what's been carried over. It's like a massive beta test completed in mere hours and let's be honest here, having something you're not really supposed to have is fun.
Anybody getting into leaks has to assume responsibility for their actions. They are downloading and installing a version of the OS that is probably an improvement but there are no guarantees from anybody.
But with all that aside - are they good or bad? Does OS leaks getting out there really help BlackBerry in anyway? Arguably a lot of feedback comes from an OS leak but often times, leaks are so old that whatever feedback can be taken from them has already been noted elsewhere in the chain of command, addressed in a build that is 3 weeks old now that hasn't yet leaked and internally BlackBerry has already moved on. Feedback drawn from leaked OS' isn't structured feedback so does it really count as feedback? Then there is those folks who expect everything to work on a leak. They'll scream to high heavens about how something is broken but not even consider that they're running a leaked and presumably unfinished OS build. They're the ones who blame everyone else but themselves for their problems. You know them. They're the same people leaving terrible reviews on BlackBerry World complaining about how an app doesn't work on their hybrid 10.2 build made from 5 different OS' using a leaked radio file.
Sidenote: Running a leak doesn't give you the right to be an arse. Think logically, you chose to install a leak and know not all apps and such are going to work. Don't hurt developers ratings because of it.
Without leaks many users would still be enduring reboots from 10.0 OS and horrible battery life. If I hadn't installed a leak and gotten my battery life more in line with what should be expected... might have gone with a different device before my 30 days were up.
What about those cases where a leak actually does help though? For instance folks in the US right now, carriers that have yet to push out BlackBerry 10.1 are causing problems for their customer base and installing a leak takes care of their problems. App incompatibility, random reboots, bad battery life, OS bugs and more. All fixed by simply downloading a leaked OS.
The question has been asked in the forums. I've shared my thoughts in there but what do you guys think. Are OS leaks good or are they bad? Have your say in the CrackBerry forums.