The use of torrents for purpose of file-sharing is a practice that tends to be associated with piracy and copyright theft, which should explain why many of the major names in the software business steer well clear of utilizing peer-to-peer. Now, though, it appears that Microsoft has bitten the bullet, and while the move to embrace p2p is very much a reflection of a more forward-thinking Microsoft, it’ll also take a great deal of pressure off the software giant’s servers when major mew software version are rolled out.
The upcoming Windows 10 will permit users to torrent Windows updates and apps should they so wish. It’s not mandatory, at least, it won’t be to begin with, but at your discretion, you’ll be able to download Windows software and updates from other computers within, and possibly outside of, your network – à la BitTorrent.
A new build of Windows 10, numbered 10036, includes a dialog that lets you “Choose how you download updates.” This, alone, seems fairly inconsequential, until you delve deeper and see the option to “Download apps and OS updates from multiple sources to get them more quickly.” From there, you can “Download apps from Microsoft and: PCs on my local network; PCs on my local network, and PCs on the Internet,” meaning that you’ll essentially be torrenting said update or application.
It’s a sensible decision that perhaps should have been implemented years back, and could also streamline the process of downloading and installing software on multiple Windows 10 devices. Instead of continuously downloading the same update or software files, you could simply distribute them around your own local network, which is not only much quicker, but saves a great deal of bandwidth.
There’s something of an ironic twist of fate that Microsoft should finally allow peer-to-peer file sharing, particularly given the issues that it has faced with people downloading its content over the years. Windows and Office have been two of the most-pirated pieces of software for well over a decade, and the company has fought tooth and nail – spending quite a lot of money in the process – in an effort to combat the millions of would-be Windows users attempting to install the software for free.
Just how far Microsoft will be going with torrenting beyond Windows Updates and Windows Store apps remains to be seen, but after so many years of battling against p2p, it’s good to see that Microsoft can still recognize the value of the infrastructure.