P2P Networks Distribute Windows SP2

Peer to peer activists Downhill Battle have set up a share to distribute Windows XP Service Pack 2. The move is intended to show the positive side of file-sharing networks and to demonstrate how powerful P2P networks can be.

SP2 has been released to manufacture, but is not currently generally available for download from Microsoft – late August is the expected time. Microsoft will be limiting downloads from its Windows Update site to prevent bandwidth and server problems, as it has predicted that the service pack will be installed on 100 million machines in coming months.

Downhill Battle have made SP2 available on BitTorrent, but other P2P users have picked it up and the update is now available on a number of peer to peer networks, including eDonkey.

As Downhill Battle state on the download page: “This website has been setup by Downhill Battle – Music Activism as a demonstration of how peer-to-peer filesharing technology can help distribute files that are too large for centralized distribution to handle. Even Microsoft, which has incredible server resources at their disposal, is limiting downloads of their SP2 release, but filesharing technology can let everyone download it right away. Congress is literally preparing to outlaw filesharing– it is crucial that we rally to defend and promote the technology.”

The version available is a network install, and definitely not what the average home user needs – particularly as it weighs in at 270 mb. The standard SP2 is about 80 mb.

Downhill Battle

The SP2 BitTorrent

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?