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Windows 10's Proposed Peer-to-Peer Updating is Not New

Windows 10's Proposed Peer-to-Peer Updating is Not New

Reports from the weekend suggest that Microsoft is working to embed peer-to-peer software and update deployment technology into upcoming Windows 10 Builds. Some have likened the functionality to a BitTorrent client where many computers sit in an array, storing bits and pieces of full software, and chunks are delivered from each one until a full installation is available.

In a nutshell, when software is available for download (security updates, for example), the download begins on all targeted systems on a network. Each system continues to download and stores bits and pieces and once a full copy exists on a system it becomes a "master" where other connected systems can draw from instead of having to continue downloading from the Internet. The beauty of this type of system is that all computers, or peers, can become a master at any given time. If a "master" computer is shutdown or taken off the network, any other system can take over automatically. If the connection to the Internet (Cloud) goes down, no worries, all the important bits are already stored locally and delivery can continue unabated. This type of functionality eliminates the need for sole purpose servers, minimizes bandwidth, and decreases reliance on being connected to the Cloud.

This may sound revolutionary, and it is for the actual Windows operating system, but it's not new. Companies like 1E and Adaptiva have been providing this type of functionality through System Center Configuration Manager for over a decade. A newcomer, 2Pint Software, provides software to make BranchCache work better and also to function with deploying computer images.

Like it's commonly does, Microsoft is taking a great idea and incorporating it into the actual operating system to provide more value. And, as history suggests, the company eventually produces a sound technology but the first iteration is never great. The way things are shaping up, there will be a lot of 1.0 technology inside Windows 10. Microsoft is relying heavily on Windows 10 for a number of reasons, but most importantly to keep itself and its vision for the future relevant. Getting the pieces right the first time is vital.

A rumored next Build of Windows 10 is due this week, possibly on Tuesday, and we might get a first look at this new-to-Windows technology. It will be important to watch how this technology plays out and I'm sure those vendors mentioned will be interested to see how closely the features match their own.

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