What’s the deal with the BitTorrent sites springing up to mirror the Beta 2 release of Windows Vista? As you’re probably aware from reading this blog, we ran into some issues delivering the download of Windows Vista Beta 2 to everyone who wanted to test out the release. Some of our fans (those with more resources at their disposal) very cleverly created a BitTorrent to mirror the files being offered in an attempt to alleviate the pressure our servers were under during the first weekend of release. This was not something that we prompted them to do, but rather the guys at Lockergnome took it upon themselves to put up a site that offered a digitally verified copy of the same Beta 2 file we posted to windowsvista.com. (For more on how BitTorrents work, check out the Wikipedia article.)
For those of you keeping score, the torrent has since been taken down per intervention by Microsoft’s Legal department, but not before serving thousands of community testers excited to get their hands on the latest public release of the OS. Of course, being the responsible and stand-up guys that they are, Chris and Jake didn’t offer an altered version of the file, but instead were simply trying to make life easier for the more than 1,000,000 people who’ve been interested enough in Beta 2 release to take the time to download the >3GB file.
The long and the short of it is that while Microsoft cannot sanction another party to offer a mirrored version our software (what would you do if you downloaded what you thought was a valid copy of an OS from a non-Microsoft site, only to find out that you’d been duped into wiping your entire system and loading a spyware-laden OS onto your machine? Yeah, I thought so. Be careful what you ask for.), it is a testament to the ingenuity of our community that Jake & Chris took the initiative to meet the need before anyone even suggested going this route. And for the record, my opinion on the matter is that despite our official corporate stance, it’s exemplary that a couple enthusiastic guys not only posted a link to the announcement that Beta 2 was available, but also made it easier for their fellow Windows aficionados to share in the excitement and get their own copies when the pipe got clogged.
So bravo, Chris and Jake! It’s guys like you who make my job easier in the end J
(Just don‘t mess with the World Cup.)