Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Windows Vista Beta 2: Biggest Download Event in History

Just got out of a Q&A with a representative of Microsoft regarding Windows Vista Beta 2 Downloads. Straight from Microsoft's mouth:

Q: What's taking so long for me to get my download?
A: Demand for Beta 2 has been huge - which was expected. But we are hitting ceilings on bandwidth. Right now we are serving out product keys 10x faster than we can serve the downloads. Already this is the biggest software download event in history. We are pumping out bits as fast as we can. If we pushed out bits any faster there would be a measureable impact for the Internet.

There's two points I want to give you:

  1. We are pumping out bits as fast as we can. If we pushed out bits any faster there would be a measureable impact for the Internet. So, we are literally saying that if we increased our bandwidth any further there's a possibilty of taking down the Internet - people might have problems with World Cup viewing, etc. That would be bad. So, it isn't that we weren't anticipating demand - we were and are - it is that we are at the threshold of what the Internet can bear.
  2. We want to encourage people who can wait to order the DVD. The DVD guarantees you RCI upgrade (as long as you activate). DVD's will take about 1 - 4 weeks to arrive depending where in the world you live. And, I want to emphasize that we aren't making money on the DVD's. We are just charging for cost of goods and shipping. Along with that - people who have PID keys may have a wait on their hands to get the download. This could be several days to even up to a week or more in some cases. That speaks to why ordering the DVD might be a good option.

It may come down to a question of time vs. $$, so folks might be better off if they were to simply order the DVD. People who already have PID keys and want to get the DVD just need to go back to the GetReady site and go through the process there. They will get a new PID key.

While we are excited to see the huge demand, this is more about being good citizens and helping users who are waiting know they can order the DVD.

Q: What about BitTorrent?
A: We thought about Bit Torrent a lot, especially in the planning stages for this. There are legal and privacy issues which unfortunately make that not an option for Microsof to officially sponsor a BitTorrent. I really wish we could do it, but we can't. If someone BitTorrent's we can't guarantee that they've got an unaltered copy, etc.

Q: What about statistics?
A: We don't have statistics available yet, but they are at the high end of our estimates. As soon as we have them available, we will publish them.

There you have it folks.



  • inZane said:
    I was very surprised last night when I tried to download the x86 version. I was able to get it off the Microsoft site and it only took 1.5 hours to get the entire 3.13gig of file.

    I still have not found the time to set it up, but will have something done tonight (with any luck)

    For all of you looking at BitTorrent, I will say that a friend had downloaded 2 of them and 2 were fakes. So be careful.
    June 10, 2006 4:43 PM
  • BBA said:
    I was able to download the 64 bit version after only a few failed attempts.

    A note to any X-Fi users, try the 32 bit version. There is no driver support for the 64 bit version.

    Also, there is no working antivirus for the 64 bit version as well.
    June 11, 2006 4:26 AM
  • Here are my weekly notes:

    The Oilers went back to their winning ways with a gritty victory last night....
    June 11, 2006 11:44 PM
  • What’s the deal with the BitTorrent sites springing up to mirror the Beta 2 release of Windows Vista? ...
    June 30, 2006 6:21 PM