These days, Apple has one of the better cloud infrastructures in the world. Even so, the sheer demand for a new version of iOS or OS X on release day can bring Apple’s network to its knees. Apple’s servers simply can’t keep up with the demand.
But Microsoft might have found a better way. In the latest version of the Windows 10 operating system beta, there’s an option to download app and OS updates from multiple sources: not just Microsoft’s cloud servers, but all local network or PCs on the internet.
In other words? The future of updating operating systems might be a lot like updating World of Warcraft.
Neowin reports on the feature, which may or may not make it to the final Windows 10 release candidate:
In build 10036 of Windows 10, there are settings that change the location from where you receive updates to Windows 10, and apps too. As you can see from the image at the top of this post, you now have the option to have multiple sources deliver updates to your PC. More specifically, you can choose where to download the updates from, including your own local network or PCs on the Internet, and of course you can turn off this functionality.
This is an interesting move from Microsoft as this can potentially speed up the delivery process for updates and at the same time, it can reduce the strain on the company’s servers too. For Microsoft, it’s a win-win, but for consumers, it can mean that you are giving up a bit of bandwidth to support this functionality.
If you’ve ever played a massively multiplayer game, you might recognize this way of distributing a new update. It’s essentially BitTorrent, and it distributes the load of app updates off the game servers so they don’t crash with every upgrade. It’s a proven system that dates back at least 10 years. Load up World of Warcraft or Diablo III and you can see the system in action for yourself.
With Microsoft essentially updating Windows 10 like an MMORPG, the big question is whether Apple will follow suit. Let’s hope so. Distributed update networks like World of Warcraft’s are fast and rock-solid.