Shareware Beach

Friday, 10 November 2006

Microsoft Does Have a Fine Download Manager

Filed under: Software Development — Jan @ 17:44

Last month I ranted about the download manager Microsoft uses for the public Windows Vista beta downloads. This week I found that Microsoft does have a download manager of its own that works just fine.

Microsoft File Transfer Manager

With the release of Windows Vista imminent, I coughed up the money for an MSDN Operating Systems subscription. When I clicked on the download link to the checked build of Vista RC2, the “Microsoft File Transfer Manager” automatically popped up (after the obligatory ActiveX warning). The next morning build 5744 x64 was sitting nice and shiny on my PC’s hard drive. No errors or complaints from the download manager. Same with the x86 build the morning after.

Since this could, of course, be due to a sudden dramatic improvement to my ADSL connection (hah!), I just did the ultimate test: I started another download, and unplugged the Ethernet cable going to the ADSL router. The download manager didn’t even blink. The status label changed from “active” to “trying to connect” after a minute or so. When I plugged the cable back in, the download silently resumed and the status label went back to “active”.

That’s how a download manager should work. I guess I’ll never know why Microsoft uses two different download managers to deliver the Vista previews to the public and to MSDN subscribers. It’s not a matter of getting what I paid for. Microsoft’s the one paying for the bandwidth of all those failed downloads.

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