Mark Curphey here ( @curphey). A few weeks ago I mentioned that we had made a decision to remove the additional download manager required for subscribers and were in the process of some engineering work to roll-out that experience to all subscribers. I am pleased to say that we have just deployed a new build and all 15,000+ products that are available to all MSDN and TechNet subscribers can now be downloaded directly from inside of your browser with no additional software needed from our shiny new Azure Edge Content Network based download system. We used to serve up files from 3 global data centers but are now able to take advantage of over 24 global nodes!
That means faster downloads for almost everyone around the world and for the vast majority of subscribers we know this will be a significant improvement. We took great care in analyzing the browser mix of users coming to our site and talking to subscribers around the world. All modern browsers have a download manager built in meaning that the pause and resume functionality is available without the challenges installing extra software, configuring proxies and challenges when running x64 bit versions of browsers. We also appreciate that there are a small number of subscribers who relied on the scheduling feature in the download client to download files during low cost bandwidth periods or low network saturation times and well be posting some workarounds for you in the coming weeks.
The IE team have a great page about the IE download manager here and similar experiences are available modern versions of Chrome and Firefox.
We are closely monitoring the new system but know from our instrumentation that users are getting their downloads significantly faster than on the previous system. We hope you enjoy the faster downloads and love to get feedback.
– Mark – http://www.curphey.com