It looks as though BitTorrent is looking to further spread
its wings now that it has received an infusion of
cash from investors. In May of this year, BitTorrent first went legitimate
by scoring a movie distribution
deal with Warner Brothers. Later in July, the company landed another
distribution deal with independent movie distributor Image Entertainment.
BitTorrent is now using part of its $20 million USD in
financing to purchase the popular uTorrent BitTorrent application. uTorrent has
been praised for its lightweight profile (170 kB application) and memory footprint
(around 4 MB during typical usage). Bram Cohen and Ludvig Strigeus, the writers
of the uTorrent application, had this to say about the acquisition:
does this mean for the µTorrent community? Not much, at least not at first. The
intention is to maintain the website as it is, and keep the forums and
community active. Moving forward behind the scenes, we will continue to develop
µTorrent and will be using the codebase in other applications, especially ones
where a fast, lightweight implementation is more suitable, such as embedded
systems on TVs, cell phones, and other non-PC platforms.
There was mixed reaction on the
uTorrent forums with regards to the uTorrent-BitTorrent deal.
"Absolute disgrace...Bit Torrent are now affiliated with the big players
Warner Brothers for example, and they have signed an agreement to distribute
digital content through the Bit Torrent client, what does this mean? basically
that uTorrent will be that distribution client at some point in the future, and
how long before we see adverts for movies within uTorrent," said antk1 on
the uTorrent forums. Another user, doink-chan, was more gracious with regards
to the announcement "As long as µTorrent keeps being a good program and
doesn't become doinky, I have no problem with it."
For those that of you that are uTorrent fans, you might want
to go ahead and grab the latest stable
copy of the application before it is rolled up into BitTorrent's official
client. You can also catch the FAQ regarding the acquisition here.