An advanced technology called network coding is hidden away in the labs at some vendors as they figure out what to do with it. But Microsoft already has a working network coding prototype. Its Microsoft Secure Content Distribution (MSCD) system was trialed recently by customers to download a new release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Beta-2.
Microsoft extended this trial into November, beyond its usual four weeks, to publicly test the capabilities and effectiveness of MCSD and evaluate its design and potential product plans for the future. It’s the first time Microsoft has distributed Visual Studio via peer-to-peer content distribution rather than server download.
“The Visual Studio team was pleased with the result; the feedback that we had from people [consumers and businesses] actually using it was largely positive, and it turned out to be fairly low effort to continue maintaining” the trial, says John Miller, a Microsoft software architect at the company’s research labs in Cambridge, England.