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Microsoft Software

Microsoft Reinvents Bittorrent 373

Posted by kdawson
from the but-do-they-give-credit-oh-no dept.
Anon E. Muss writes "Microsoft has a new Secure Content Downloader tool that sounds an awful lot like a Bittorrent clone. It's described as a 'peer-assisted technology' where '[e]ach client downloads content by exchanging parts of the file they're interested in with other clients, in addition to downloading parts from the server.' Right now MSCD is just a time-limited preview, intended to support downloads of select Microsoft beta releases (e.g. Visual Studio 2008). If this test goes well, Microsoft will probably start using MSCD for all their large downloads. How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?"
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Microsoft Reinvents Bittorrent

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  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:20PM (#20024653)
    People have no problem with this and blizzard. Expect the double standard to kick in in 3.. 2.. 1..
    • I'm not a Blizzard customer, but if I were, I would have a problem with it.
    • by secolactico (519805) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:33PM (#20024799) Journal
      People have no problem with this and blizzard. Expect the double standard to kick in in 3.. 2.. 1..

      Are you kidding? Whenever a patch came out, the chief complaint in the forums was the bittorrent downloader. Blizzard even lists alternative (third party) download sites on their patch page because of this. Besides, they didn't re-invent bittorrent. They stated from the beginning what protocol they were using.

      I see nothing wrong with MS doing this just like I see nothing wrong with bittorrent.
      • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @03:04PM (#20025617)
        I'd have no problem with MS *using* bittorrent either. Unfortunately MS is claiming this is their own home grown technology that they invented.

        I surely hope Bram Cohen patented his little invention...
      • I think someone should point out, somewhere in here, that Blizzard's downloader isn't just a bittorrent clone, it literally is bittorrent. Bram Cohen didn't patent it, he released it under the MIT license which is less restrictive even than the GNU license (doesn't require modified source code be released). Thus large corporations like Vivendi are free to modify it and use it for their own purposes as Blizzard has done.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jdelator (1131933)
      Why is the majority of slashdot so anti-microsoft, they sound all sound like whiny 15 year olds that think they are cool since they know how install linux on their machine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shados (741919)

        they sound all sound like whiny 15 year olds that think they are cool since they know how install linux on their machine
        Thats because thats exactly what many of em ARE. (Well, maybe a bit older than 15, but I'd be interested in statistics on how many of the people that post stuff like that even have a full time job...)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cyphercell (843398)
          Well I have a full-time job, and if M$ version is as network intensive as bittorrent is I'm going to be pissed especially if we have no other options.
        • by cromar (1103585) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:09PM (#20025153)
          I work 40 hours a week doing .NET programming. The reason a lot of people hear dislike Microsoft is because of their horrible track record of stifling innovation, using their monopoly to crush opposition, and consistently releasing inferior products after their announced release date is long past. And that's merely the tip of the iceberg.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)
            I work 40 hours a week doing .NET programming ... consistently releasing inferior products

            Something doesn't fit there. There are a lot of things you can trash MS for, but their development tools are absolutely top notch. I work with ASP.net 40 hours a week, and it's amazing just how bad it makes PHP, J2EE, Rails, and most of the other frameworks out there look in comparison.
      • by nakkenakuttaja (978938) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:24PM (#20025277)
        For me personally the answer is simple: Nothing gives me more pleasure than reading serious Microsoft bashing. It's really one of the main reasons why I read Slashdot. And I'm 46 years old. Being anti-Microsoft is a universal feeling for all generations, genders, races etc. It really brings our minds and hearts together no matter if you are 15 or 46. And often saves my day and it makes me feel so good inside!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shaitand (626655)
        'Why is the majority of Slashdot so anti-Microsoft, they sound all sound like whiny 15 year olds that think they are cool since they know how install Linux on their machine.'

        Because unlike the greater population the Slashdot crowd is a bit tech heavy. There are no shortage of people reading Slashdot who understand the technical merits of Linux vs windows. That is why most advocate Linux.

        As for actually being anti-Microsoft, how can you be into technology and not hate Microsoft? How can you care about softwa
    • by JimDaGeek (983925) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:37PM (#20024843)
      How is it a double standard if someone doesn't want to support Microsoft while wanting support a company they like, such as Blizzard? If MS were a better company with better practices, supported standards better and didn't abuse their monopoly position, I am sure there would be a lot more supporters on the side of Microsoft.

      Me personally, I won't give any of my bandwidth to Microsoft. Let them pay for it. Now if Microsoft wanted to pay me to use my bandwidth, I would consider that option.
      • by jorghis (1000092) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:14PM (#20025201)
        "How is it a double standard if someone doesn't want to support Microsoft while wanting support a company they like, such as Blizzard?"

        The definition of a double standard is to apply one standard to judge two groups differently for the same infraction because of issues external to the matter at hand. In this instance you want to condemn MS and give Blizzard a free pass because of your stance on open standards. (this seems a bit dubious, every standard Blizzard has is closed, they have sued people in the past for trying to make servers that do the same thing as battle.net and so forth, but I digress) So what you are doing is prettymuch the classic example of a double standard, judging one group differently than another for the same infraction because you dont like them for whatever reason.

        I am not sure if you were being sarcastic or not by asking how applying different standards to different groups based on whether or not you liked them constitutes a double standard. If you were joking then my bad. :)
    • If I remember correctly, Blizzard actually hired Bram Cohen to design their custom bittorrent client for updating WoW. What was your point again?
      • by Don Negro (1069) *
        Bram didn't write that or ever work for Blizzard. He worked for Valve for a while, which might be what you're thinking of.

        Blizzard's downloader is based on an early version of the open-source BitTorrent client.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Doctor Crumb (737936)
      Um, blizzard uses bittorrent, they did not embrace-and-extend their own protocol.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jorghis (1000092)
      It's not a double standard for me. I think the blizzard downloader is terrible. You have a huge group of people who cant figure out how to set up their firewall to actually get the whole peer to peer thing working even when everything else is fine. That group is bound to be even larger when you go to all windows users. What percentage of the population will really be able to figure out what ports they need to be able to open on their router and how to do it? And thats assuming that the user is even all
    • by schon (31600) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:12PM (#20025183)
      Others have pointed out your straw man, but nobody has pointed you to this, [penny-arcade.com] so I thought I might.
    • by lpontiac (173839)
      In the comments from Slashdot's initial reporting of Blizzard's P2P delivery [slashdot.org] back in 2004, there are plenty of "great!" comments, but also plenty of comments from people who had a problem with Blizzard doing this.
    • by hpavc (129350)
      The issue here is that you can download a custom tuned for you serial number / customer id portion from microsoft and get the rest of the binary shared crap elsewhere.
    • by NeilTheStupidHead (963719) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:33PM (#20025361) Journal
      0... ^>^ I actually have a huge problem with Blizzard's distribution system for patches. My ISP shapes their traffic and it can take hours for a small four megabyte patch to download. If I go directly to their site and download as a standalone file: about a minute. A distributed download system is a good idea both for Blizzard as it saves them bandwidth and for most of their customers as they get their patches faster (especially when it comes to large patches), but the standard download model has to be available for those who cannot use this type of system.
      • by Wildclaw (15718) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @03:39PM (#20025913)
        Sounds like the real problem you are having is with your ISP and not with blizzard. Only evil packet (protocol) shaping would prevent you from downloading a mere 4 MB file in a few minutes, even if you aren't uploading anything. Fortunally blizzard has alternative ways of downloading patches, but it really shouldn't be nescessary. Bittorrent is not much different than a http/ftp download, except that it is also possible for clients to exchange parts of the file/files between themselves when the server is overloaded.

        This is why real net neutrality is so important (and I am talking about real net neutrality, not the fake one that some are advocating that still allows packet shaping).
    • by shinma (106792)
      Not only do people whine about "subsidizing" Blizzard on top of paying their monthly fee, Blizzard makes patches available via alternate means.
  • Good for them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:21PM (#20024665)
    This will show that p2p/torrents have a legal use.
    • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:30PM (#20024769) Homepage Journal
      Or, more likely, Microsoft will try to spin it such that it looks like Bittorrent == evil pirates whereas MSCD == fair and honest distribution system.
      • Any chance MSCD has a Microsoft API? Microsoft loves those extentions. Maybe MSCD can be made to do BitTorrent too ...
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Meccanica (980734)
        Exactly what I thought- therefore, why not just rebrand bittorrent clients as MSCD clients? Everyone wins!

        Although, the RIAA/MPAA will still claim to be losing.

        A Brilliant Plan occurs to me!

        1. If all or most of current bittorrent networks could be 'changed' into 'MSCD' networks

        2. Upload a bunch of fake 'torrents' using the 'old' technology as a trap (a reversal of the very same technique that the RIAA types have tried using).

        3. Hammer them with legal action and bad PR over attempting to obtain + distri

      • Re:Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Comatose51 (687974) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:07PM (#20025143) Homepage
        Well at my last job, I wasn't allowed to install BitTorrent to download Linux ISOs because the more senior admins brought the FUD and said it's the same a Napster and all the other P2P clients. I argued that it was a protocol akin to FTP and it fell on deaf ears. I'm sure they will have no issues with this since it's officially sanctioned by Microsoft. SysAdmins can be just as bad as the PHBs.
      • by jorghis (1000092)
        Kind of like how the anti-MS crowd will come out with some spin like "Or, more likely, Microsoft will do XYZ" where XYZ is something bad every time MS puts out some kind of interesting software? Of course there is zero evidence MS is going to claim that their version is any different from bittorrent from some kind of a moral point of view, everything they have said on the subject is technical in nature. But lets not allow that to get in the way of anti-MS groupthink!
      • by KwKSilver (857599)
        Ahem. Instead of

        whereas MSCD == fair and honest distribution system.
        I think you meant to say: "whereas MSCD == fair and balanced distribution system." Seems more fitting, anyway, all things considered.
    • by v1 (525388)
      I've been waiting for one of the big players to jump on this bandwagon. To be honest, I was hoping Apple would be the first big player. They like to hop on new tech and have a knack for guessing correctly. Even if MS is first, at least this will light the fires at the other shops. As it is now, software updates are fairly fast, but I'm sure that costs them a lot of coin to keep at those levels. This won't necessarily provide faster downloads for you and me, but it will cut their bandwidth costs signifi
  • Any word on them trying to patent this?
  • no surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by botkiller (181386) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:22PM (#20024675) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft, ripping off your ideas since the 80's, then repackaging them with prettier colors.
  • Flamebait much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:22PM (#20024685)
    Wow. This is the worst kind of pandering.

    BitTorrent didn't invent P2P. And the idea is used by many other applications including games. The last article with a premise this ridiculous I've seen was the "Hotmail drops 98.88% of all attachments, MS to be broken up and fined $10 billion dollars for fraud!" article.

    Seriously, what is the point of this nonsense article, just to get the groupthink all riled up?

    • Re:Flamebait much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rm999 (775449) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:32PM (#20024791)
      Also, the comment "How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?" is ridiculous. Yes, I know Slashdot is a biased source, but when they make it that blatant I get really annoyed.

      No one is forcing anyone to use this p2p technology. If you have something against it, just don't download things from Microsoft. Common sense...
      • If you have something against it, just don't download things from Microsoft.
        Like security patches?
        • by rm999 (775449)
          Yes, I guess what I was implying is don't put yourself in the situation where you have to download things - i.e. don't buy their products.

          I think this is moot - who the hell is so offended by p2p technology that they refuse to use it? The only valid concern I can think of is that you don't want a server running on your computer, which all bittorrent style schemes require (I believe). Additionally, some ISPs *technically* forbid it.
          • at my work bittorrent basically will saturate the network depending on the popularity of the files, usable bandwidth dies, and the PCs are effectively turned into torrent bots. If that suddenly happened to every machine on the network (thinking SPx), I would be f*cking livid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by OmegaBlac (752432)

      Seriously, what is the point of this nonsense article, just to get the groupthink all riled up?
      Well it is SOP to have at least one of these articles at least once a day here. Hell, I wouldn't be able to make it through the day without the daily 2-minute Microsoft Hate.
    • Re:Flamebait much? (Score:5, Informative)

      by eonlabs (921625) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:18PM (#20025231) Journal
      Bittorrent did not come up with p2p. They did come up with swarming. The idea is if everyone downloads once and sends once, the net cost to the main server is 1 upload. Granted, it doesn't work to the theoretical limit, but it's pretty damn good at conserving bandwidth.

      If bittorrent is patented... which it doesn't appear it ever can be, then this would be a problem. If Microsoft claims they invented it, that's pretty major BS, but that's it. If this stays visible as a variant of p2p file sharing, then it will hold some ground for the rest of the industry. Maybe the best thing to do is to use this to point out that p2p has solid legal uses and value.
    • by makomk (752139)
      BitTorrent didn't invent P2P, but this is basically a clone of BitTorrent - using a "secure description" of the file downloaded from a central site to verify pieces, and exchanging pieces with other users downloading the same files as you. Previous P2P software worked somewhat differently, as I recall.
  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:24PM (#20024705)
    How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

    Exactly how many articles has /. run on BT before? 47 thousand? And how many have had a comment like this? Zero?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The difference between normal bit torrent clients is that the user can share or not share, and how much they share, on their end. I'd RTFA but it gives me an error right now. Is this new client for M$ something under the control of the owner of the computer? Or will M$ be determining how much of your bandwidth is going to be used to subsidize their bandwidth costs?

      If as the user of the computer, I can decide to share patches/updates or NOT share them, then it's a fine and dandy addition. But if it's goi
      • by sedmonds (94908)
        It seems like you have to turn it on, so you can choose not to be uploading whenever you want. You can also change the upload/download bandwidth consumed but there aren't many choices. 256Kbps/1Mmbps, 256Kbps/2Mbps, 512Kbps/512Kbps, 512Kbps/4Mbps, 1Mbps/1Mbps, 1Mbps/8Mbps, 2Mbps/2Mbps, 4Mbps/4Mbps, Unlimited.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      I don't think it's just anti-MS bias.

      It's a legitimate question to ask why a multi-billion dollar international corporation can't afford to sign up with a Akamai or some other edge provider.

      Using the app, you'll still be able to pull from MS's servers.

      I can understand why MS would want to do this (the bottom line), but I can't see why they'd need to.
    • by flacco (324089)
      the question was: "how do you feel about subsidizing MICROSOFT's bandwidth costs?"
  • Old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3.gmail@com> on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:32PM (#20024787) Journal
    Microsoft developed BITS 3.0 [wikipedia.org] many months ago and included it with Vista. It allows for what Microsoft calls "peer caching."

    Rob
  • by poptones (653660) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:32PM (#20024795) Journal
    Aren't we already? [thepiratebay.org]
  • by SilentChris (452960) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:35PM (#20024819) Homepage
    MS didn't reinvent Bittorrent. They built something better: Avalanche [microsoft.com]. It's more efficient and (I know this phrase is weird to use around MS, but...) more secure. Read the research papers (they touch on BT, its advantages and disadvantages). I imagine most of this stuff is on its way into standard BT, if it hasn't been worked in already.

    "How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?"

    Frankly I don't give 2 shits as long as they don't patent the hell out of it (and sue existing P2P solutions). But this came out of MS Research, so I doubt that'll happen (one of the only decent groups at MS).

    By the way, MS has been messing around with P2P for years. How do you think Xbox Live works? Every time a game is played multiplayer, at least one Xbox/Xbox 360 is hosting. Not a single MS server hosts a game. Question this all you want (why pay $60 a year then?) but the fact of the matter is that from a technological standpoint, it works well.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:03PM (#20025089)
      From that article that you linked:

      Peers do not need to find specific pieces in the system to complete, any subset encoded piece will suffice.

      Huh?

      Also, no peer becomes a bottleneck, since no block is more important than another.

      In bittorrent, no block is more important than any other.

      And the only bottleneck in bittorrent is when a specific block is only available from a single seed with limited bandwidth. The moment that block is uploaded to another machine the bandwidth expands.

      Finally, network bandwidth is efficiently utilized since the same information does not travel multiple times over bottleneck links.

      I'm not understanding that either. You need updates as to who has what. This will be changing constantly as different peers download different blocks.

      One possible solution is to use a heuristic that prioritizes exchanges of "locally rarest" pieces. But such local-rarest policies often fail to identify the "globally rarest" piece when peers have a limited view of the network.

      Why would you need to? All the client has to do is connect to as many peers as necessary to find each block a minimum number of times. The only time there is a problem with this is when there is only one seed with limited bandwidth.

      There is no way that a "globally rarest" will appear more often in your peer group than it does globally. This seems more of a seeder issue than a swarm issue. And it has been solved with the "super-seeder" enhancements. The seeder feeds more blocks to the guy who seems to share them the fastest.
      • by makomk (752139)
        Yeah - subset encoding is generally used for things like Freenet or Usenet, where there's a distributed store with a risk of some pieces dropping out or not reaching the user. It looks like it does actually have some theoretical improvements over BitTorrent, but I'm not convinced they'd have enough benefit to be worth the increase in complexity and CPU usage.
      • by makomk (752139)
        They've done some clever tricks so that your peer can send you some data without knowing what you already have, and it's still pretty much certain to give you a corresponding amount of new information about the file. (Actually, it isn't as clear-cut as they'd like to make out, since peers are limited by what information they already have). Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult to verify if your peer has given you genuine data. They're actually using a new technique (always a bad sign) which requires t
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Catil (1063380)
      Bram Cohen (Bittorrent inventor) commented on Avalanche on his blog [livejournal.com] two years ago and said that he thinks "the paper is complete garbarge."

      However, the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on network coding lists a lot of fields where this techology might be useful, so I guess it's not really garbage after all, but neither the holy grail of p2p.
      • by mochan_s (536939)

        Some consider network coding theory to be garbage as well, so maybe it's still garbage.

  • by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe AT joe-baldwin DOT net> on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:37PM (#20024839) Homepage Journal
    How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

    The same way I feel about Canonical's. Or Fedora's. Or Gentoo's. Or Blizzard's. Or Demonoid's. Or iPodNova's. Or the eDonkey network's. Or ThePirateBay's.

    It's P2P, remember, the thing everyone here loves? And now there's more of it! Must be a good thing. Although I'm sure if Microsoft started handing out free chocolates and flowers, before going on to start selling Linux distributions and releasing the entire code of the Windows kernel under the BSD license, you'd find some reasons to kick up a fuss about that, as well.
    • Not really. Canonical/Fedora/Gentoo/TPB give me stuff for free, so I chip in with bandwidth. I don't like Blizzard doing that, if I'm already paying $15/mo they should at least host the thing on their own servers. Same for microsoft, if I'm paying it, they should distribute it properly instead of counting on me to do it.
  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:40PM (#20024871)

    Since I downloaded the last MSDN library no less than 9 times and each time got a corrupted file (yes, a 1.9GB corrupted file), I would have welcomed an official MS P2P download route - one of the more useful feature of BitTorrent on large files is that each chunk is hashed, and thus has good integrity.

    Instead, there was just an MD5 checksum buried in the small print on the page, which is no help at all. The checksum validation in the install routine can detect that the archive is corrupted. Ok, it's nice to be able to tell if you got a pirate zombie MSDN library (presumably with some pages containing subtle advice on how to implement code with security holes - now we know why Windows is so insecure....) But what I really needed was a download protocol that provides for more error correction than HTTP.

    Go, I say. Even if everyone disables the ability to upload, and all the data still comes from MS, it's still an improvement.
    • by TheSunborn (68004)
      Are you by any change running on an motherboard with an nvidia chipset, using active armor(Or whatever they call the included firewall?)

      Because that's the only thing I have ever seen, that could corrupt a tcp/ip download.
      • It is an nvidia board, but the firewall component isn't on ; I have a router running OpenWRT for that.

        I have it from people inside MS (via a friend on a C# IRC channel) that this was a known problem with their download setup. I wasn't the only person in my peer group to be experiencing this problem. In the end I gave up - I'm not cutting edge enough that I care too much, MSDN from 6 months ago is usually good enough. I was just trying to scratch my geek itch - you know, the "latest version" one.
  • Because no one else ever thought or developed a protocol with distributed file transfer. If MS is doing something they must have copied it from someone.
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @01:50PM (#20024977) Homepage
    > How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

    It's good that they are using their own protocol. That way those who have no use for anything from Microsoft will be in no danger of inadvertently doing them a favor.
  • How much secure ? I smell a new vector for adware / spyware / trojan infections here....
  • How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

    Uh, let me see:

    Microsoft treats paying customers like criminals with their recent (last five years or so) policies but it does nothing to curb professional pirates

    Microsoft is one of the wealthiest companies in the world.

    Microsoft can easily afford the bandwidth for hosting their product downloads.

    How do I feel about it? Sorry, I won't be participating. If they make their policies more customer-friendly and open up the source for Windows, or at l

  • Just imaging a huge P2P network of Microsoft software - and if someone figures out how to pervert it with trojans, viruses, keyloggers...

    With Microsoft's lousy security track record, can you imagine the gold mine this will be for anyone that wants to mass distribute malwear? Nothing like lots of machines in the wild hosting "official" Microsoft software, patches, etc.

    Think it can't happen? Think again.
  • by botkiller (181386) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:09PM (#20025155) Homepage Journal
    "How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?""

    Kinda dirty and used, but no different from how I felt after installing Vista.
  • Is the Bittorrent protocol a W3C standard yet?
  • How do you feel about subsidizing Microsoft's bandwidth costs?

    Exactly the same way I feel about subsidizing anyone's bandwidth.

    If its an open source project I have no problems with it, and do it all the time. I'm a Mandriva Club member and regularly host various forms of the Mandriva distributions on a server with a fat pipe.

    If its a closed source project or something that costs money, then those companies who distribute it by leaching bandwidth from others are just that, leaches. Actually, I take that ba
  • Seeing as there is clearly no prior art, will M$ patent this 'new' technology and charge users extra to use it?
  • As usual, there's no sensible reason in the world why Microsoft could not have used the open, existing, tested, commodity protocol.

  • is, did MS write their P2P software to preclude people getting in on the downloads without WGAing first? Because that's the biggest reason why they wouldn't be able to use BT out of the box.

  • by radarsat1 (786772) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @02:51PM (#20025493) Homepage
    So far most of the comments on this story have been about the pros and cons of helping MS with their bandwidth. There have even been a couple talking about some technical differences. But for me, the biggest difference is none of that. The coolest thing about BitTorrent is that it is a known, open protocol. What this means is that there are something like 10 to 20 clients out there you can download, so we end up with great programs like Azureus and uTorrent. Of course I haven't read much about this new program from MS, but I imagine they won't be releasing the source code for it. (I may be wrong of course!) What this means is that to use their shiny new protocol, you have to use THEIR software. You will have _no_ choice, and there will be _no_ room for developing new features. I find this terribly limiting compared to what can be accomplished with something open and popular like BitTorrent. What will you do if the protocol is very efficient and useful, and yet you are forced to use a crap client that you don't like? Reverse engineer it? That's a pain in the ass compared to having a working, open protocol that is well-documented and there are several open-source solutions to reference. And I won't even begin to discuss the likelihood of seeing an OS X or Linux version of their client...

    I think I'll be sticking to BT unless something better comes along that actually has a useful (i.e., open) license. One wonders about the motivation for developing this when they could have just used BT to distribute their patches and downloads. Is it just NIH, or something more?
    • by Shados (741919)
      Of course, I doubt that MS will have that client used for anything but their files, so in the end, its not like its even competing with BT at all.
  • not a "troll" at all (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oohshiny (998054) on Saturday July 28, 2007 @03:02PM (#20025599)
    Microsoft is charging a lot of money for their software; there is absolutely no reason anybody but Microsoft should pay for the bandwidth related to their software updates.

    From a practical point of view, no matter how "secure" the protocol may be, if this thing is running on a host as part of a P2P network, it is essentially broadcasting to the world that (1) the host is running Windows, and (2) that it's not up to date with its patches. That's not a smart thing to broadcast.

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.

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