Microsoft ran into major bandwidth problems when they released the latest Beta of Windows 7 to the public. The company decided to delay the release while they added some more servers, citing “very heavy traffic”. If they had only used BitTorrent, this heavy traffic would have actually speeded up distribution, instead of slowing it down.
With an official Windows 7 torrent, Microsoft would not have had problems at all. In fact, BitTorrent would have helped to get the Beta out faster than Microsoft servers are technically capable of.
The larger the demand and the greater numbers of people active on a torrent, the faster a file can potentially be distributed with BitTorrent, saving Microsoft money too.
This is not the first time that Microsoft has failed to see the benefits of BitTorrent though. This is merely a replay of what happened two years ago when the Vista Beta was posted, but obviously they haven’t learned from that earlier failure. At the time Microsoft said that “legal and privacy issues,” had prevented them from posting a torrent, but they didn’t explain why this was the case.
BitTorrent would have been the wise choice though. During recent years BitTorrent has proved itself as the ideal tool to get large files from A to B (C, D…) on the Internet. Linux distros all use BitTorrent, EA used BitTorrent to distribute the Warhammer Online Beta earlier this year, and even NASA embraced BitTorrent.
Although there is no official Microsoft torrent published, Windows 7 Beta is widely available on BitTorrent sites. And since people generally don’t like to wait for something that is already available elsewhere, many have turned to BitTorrent for this Beta, whether Microsoft likes it or not.