If Microsoft can Deliver Windows 10 P2P, Why Can’t we with WebRTC?

August 17, 2015

What do you know? Peer assisted delivery a-la WebRTC data channel is acceptable.

Whenever write something about the potential of using WebRTC’s data channel for augmenting CDN delivery and getting peers who want to access content to assist each other, there are those who immediately push back. The main reasons? This eats up into data caps and takes up battery.

It was hard to give any real user story besides something like BitTorrent for consumers or how Twitter uses BitTorrent internally to upgrade its servers. Not enough to convince many of my readers here that P2P is huge and WebRTC will be a part of it.

The WebRTC will be a part of it has been covered on this blog many times. P2P is huge is a different story. At least until last month.

Windows 10 p2p

Windows 10 was officially released end of July. And with it, millions of PCs around the world got updated. I ran into this article on TheNextWeb by Owen Willions:

by default, Windows 10 uses your internet connection to share updates with others across the internet.

The feature, called Windows Update Delivery Optimization is designed to help users get updates faster and is enabled by default in Windows 10 Home and Pro editions. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education have the feature enabled, but only for the local network.

It’s basically how torrents work: your computer is used as part of a peer to peer network to deliver updates faster to others. It’s a great idea, unless your connection is restricted.

So. Microsoft decided to go for peer assisted delivery and not only a CDN setup to get Windows 10 installation across the wires to its millions of users. That’s 2-3 Gb of a download.

Probably the first large scale commercial use of P2P out there – and great validation for the technique.

I know – they received backlashes and complaints for doing so, but what I haven’t seen is Microsoft stopping this practices. This is another step in the Internet decentralization trend that is happening.

I wonder who will be next.

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  1. The more important question should be “how come microsoft released it’s new shiny browser without webRTC support, and what were they thinking for themselves.”

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