Microsoft is developing a peer-to-peer system to rival the massively popular BitTorrent at its research labs in Cambridge. “Avalanche,” solves a BitTorrent flaw that leaves users waiting for the less prominent last bits of a file, by encoding information in each bit on the whole file – meaning users won’t have to download every bit in order to reconstruct the entire file. The company said piracy concerns are addressed because Avalanche will only distribute files authorized by the publisher. A UK release is possible by 2006. Read the research paper.

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