Sunday, September 23, 2007

Microsoft Secure Content Downloader

Recently, Microsoft released a new downloading technology that sounds very similar to bittorrent. The technology, called Microsoft Secure Content Downloader (MSCD), is touted as "a peer-assisted download manager" that's capable of securely downloading specific files. MSCD is intended for consumers who are downloading from a home PC or business users whose computers are not behind a corporate firewall. The main feature of the technology is its peer-assisted nature. Each client downloads content by exchanging parts of the file they're interested in with other clients, in addition to downloading parts from a content server. This makes MSCD sound like a hybrid of peer-to-peer and server-based downloading, which would allow for greater performance without having to worry whether or not enough people are currently sharing the file you need.

Another feature of this new technology is the secure content description, meaning that it ensures that the content you download is exactly what the publisher created. MSCD is currently a Community Technology Preview, and will only allow you to obtain Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2. A Community Technology Preview means that information related to MSCD's performance and network transactions, including your machine name and IP addresses, may be logged to help evaluate and improve MSCD performance.

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