Feeds

Microsoft preps Napster clone

A hi-tech R&D project today - tomorrow ze vorld...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft plans to 'embrace and extend' peer-to-peer file sharing technology with a Napster-style system of its own.

Codenamed Farsite, the program is currently little more than a research project, according to a ZDNet US story. The newswire seems content with M$' line that the code will probably make it into the commercial arena, but we're not convinced.

Essentially, Farsite follows the true peer-to-peer mode of Gnutella rather than Napster's approach. Farsite lets PC talk unto PC, without the need for a central server to act as an intermediate directory, as is the case with Napster.

The Farsite developers' focus is on corporate networks and want to develop a system capable of allowing around 100,000 machines connected on what the research team calls a "serverless network" to exchange files quickly with each other.

All nice and techie, but let's revisit the phrase "serverless network". Now one of the application areas in which a certain open source operating system that competes with Microsoft's own offerings is doing rather well is file sharing. So it might well be to the Windows maker's benefit to be able to bypass said systems using client-based peer-to-peer sharing technology.

That's one use of peer-to-peer. Another is the approach Napster has taken: media sharing. This is likely to become a big part of the digital music market if not all of it, and it's hard to see Microsoft not wanting a share, a very big share of this emerging business. Right now, the music industry is broadly hostile to the technology, but that may change, as shown by Bertelsmann's deal with Napster.

It makes sense, then, for Microsoft to have the appropriate technology ready just in case. It can certainly afford to develop the code and risk it never being used.

Napster is unlikely to win the hearts and minds of the music industry - too much has been said by both parties for a true reconciliation - but if the world's biggest record labels begin to realise the potential of the generic peer-to-peer concept, they might be open to approaches from a company that can build its sharing software into the most widespread desktop OS there is. Tie it in with the near-ubiquitous Windows Media Player and Microsoft's Reciprocal-derived royalty payment management software, and you've the basis for a media delivery system that can work with both download and peer-to-peer subscription services... ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.