March Technical Preview and non-MSDN subscribers

I received a question asking how/if people who aren’t MSDN subscribers can get this build.  Unfortunately, we do not yet have a way to enable this.  The issue is really one of not figuring out the logistics yet – we want to do this. 

There are two (obvious) approaches – some kind of media fulfillment process (e.g. pay a small shipping/handling charge and we’ll mail it to you) and downloads.  The issue with the former is that when/if we drop builds more frequently the manufacturing/distribution cost and the delay end up being significant for everyone.  The issues with the latter are that we apparently do not have a reliable mechanism for non-MSDN subscribers to download something as large as Whidbey, and I saw a piece of email indicating that the bandwidth consumed serving up the download costs us more than making media.  We’re in the process of sorting through the issues.  I’m 99% certain that the Whidbey beta will have media fulfillment for non-MSDN subscribers.  But we need a definitive answer for these non-beta technical previews as well. 

This technical preview is available to a lot of people, relative to what we’ve done before:  alpha customers, MVPs, VSLive/PDC/MDC attendees, and MSDN subscribers.  But if you aren’t in one of those groups I’m sure this step forward in availability offers no consolation.  Please bear with us as we work through this – a lot of our tools/processes assume infrequent/small numbers and we’re having to change them to do what we want. 

Comments (6)

  1. Kim Ipsen says:

    Blizzard are using BitTorrent (a customized version) for their "World Of Warcraft beta" download, which is a 2 gb download. Wouldn’t it be a method that migth be of interest for Microsoft ?

    Let people register for a key at microsoft’ own website for the beta/technical preview, and then let people download the software using (a customized) BitTorrent-client.

  2. Steve Clarke says:

    I second the BitTorrent idea. BitTorrent is THE solution to just this problem.

    It’s unfortunate that lawmakers are considering banning P2P just when it’s starting to show its worth for non-piracy related uses — of which there are obviously MANY.

  3. David says:

    Couldn’t you just say that it is ok for everybody to copy it as much as they want from a legal perspective? People could then get it via the various P2P programs quite easily, without violating any copyright rights…

    If the ONLY reason to giving it to anybody is the cost of the distribution it surely seems to make sense to give this the status of "freeware" and a general copy license for anybody.

  4. I would concur with a the idea of a custom P2P client. I’ve always thought that would be good for MSDN in general, especially when some large file is released. (I don’t have MSDN right now, but we’re in the apporval process, but I remember how bad it was when VS.NET was finally released…)

    I would give up some bandwidth if it would help me get popular releases faster, and more efficiently.

  5. I’m going to jump the gun and leave the initial deployment as trivial. What I would suggest is that, once the origional media has been obtained, that future updates could be deployed via an "Check for Updates" feature, making it more cost effective than purchasing media for small bug fixes, and also more efficient than redownloading the entire media.

  6. Sergio Florez M. says:

    I’m sorry if this isn’t the right place to ask this but I just can find any other place. What’s the Framework version that comes with this Technology Preview?