Vista Beta 2 Offered via BitTorrent

With Microsoft struggling to keep up with the demand for Windows Vista Beta 2, tech personality Chris Pirillo has taken the initiative to publish the 3.2-gigabite download using BitTorent. But Microsoft recommends against using a third party to obtain Vista code.

Those eager to try out the first public release of Microsoft's next generation operating system have been met with slow download speeds and timeouts. The Redmond company has even recommended that users place an order for a DVD copy rather than deal with the download wait times.

In turn, Pirillo and Jake Ludington have setup to serve a torrent of Beta 2. Users can take advantage of the decentralized peer-to-peer technology to download at much faster speeds than Microsoft is currently able to offer.

An MD5 hash is also provided to enable users to verify their ISO after it finishes downloading. "This is not a crack, this is not a hack, this is not software piracy - it's unofficial mirroring with official validation," the site says.

"We were told, in a certain amount of words, that they had considered BitTorrent to distribute the ISO, did not, and were likely not going to stop it from happening. Their current situation seems dire from anybody's perspective," Pirillo told BetaNews. "It's been on BitTorrent networks from the beginning."

But Microsoft is wary about Vista coming from any unofficial source. The company did not say, however, whether it would ask Pirillo to take the torrent file offline or cease using its trademarks.

"We are excited by the high demand for Windows Vista beta 2 code. While we understand people may be looking for faster ways to download it due to the high demand, we continue to encourage anyone interested in receiving the code to visit the Web site to either download the beta or order the DVD," Mike Burk, product manager for Windows Client, responded to BetaNews inquiries.

Microsoft product manager Aaron Coldiron said that if the company pushed out the Vista Beta 2 downloads any faster, users would see a measurable impact on Internet performance worldwide, which could affect World Cup viewing and more.

"Every member of the Windows community thought it was an oversight that Microsoft didn't use BitTorrent to distribute such a large file - a belief that was only reinforced after they asked users to get the DVD instead of trying to download it," added Pirillo. "The situation won't get better for them if they ask us to stop trying to help. We'd much rather work with them on this than abandon the idea altogether."

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