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Opera Mulls BitTorrent Support
July 7, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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BitTorrent has undoubtedly become one of major protocols of the Internet. Along with FTP and HTTP, BitTorrent has found its rightful place along side these tried and true Internet mediums. While the courts wrestle with the legitimacy of P2P, BitTorrent seems to be the golden egg as more genuine uses of this protocol step forward.

BitTorrent’s savior so far has been its marketability as a legal method for distributing large files. Indeed, it has become a primary method for distributing the Linux Operating System. Attempting to distribute the approximately 2 gigabyte OS through traditional web servers could pose serious bandwidth problems, yet one that is alleviated by distributing Linux through BitTorrent.

Bandwidth considerations are something the folks at Opera are very familiar with. When Opera 8.0 was released, the demand placed on their servers temporarily disrupted the distribution of this software.

"While BitTorrent has been on Opera's radar screen for more than a year, the true value of the technology became evident when the company launched Opera 8 in April this year. The massive response, with more than 100 downloads per second, dealt a technical knock-out to Opera's servers. With BitTorrent, users would have had an alternative download mechanism," said Christen Krogh, VP of Engineering, Opera Software.

Currently, only the “technology preview” of Opera has BitTorrent integration, dubbed Opera 8.02 BitTorrent Technology Preview 1. While speaking with Opera’s public relations, they told “it has not been decided whether or not this protocol will be integrated [into full release versions.]” Upgrades to the BitTorrent protocol will “in general…be treated like upgrades to FTP and HTTP.”

Whether Opera does bring BitTorrent integration into its full release versions is yet to be determined. Public reaction to this development coupled by its practicality will go a long way in making that decision.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: BitTorrent Clients
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Software

You can read Opera's press release there.

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