BitTorrent buys up uTorrent

Written by Wil Harris

December 8, 2006 | 08:32

Tags: #bit-torrent #bram-cohen #utorrent

Companies: #bittorrent

After getting a nice injection of venture capital cash, it seems that the guys at BitTorrent have been on a little bit of a spending spree.

Bram Cohen, legendary creator of the protocol, announced yesterday the company's acquisition of uTorrent, one of the most popular clients around.

uTorrent is famed for being very small in terms of file size and memory footprint - the XP client can operate in just 4MB.

BitTorrent is attempting to go legit, and says that it bought up the small client because the company wants to get smaller devices - such as embedded set top boxes and handhelds - going on the Torrent bandwagon.

The reaction on the uTorrent forum has been pretty negative, with fans posting that "This sucks", "Absolute disgrace", "It's curtains" and the slightly more optimistic "Hopefully you don't ruin this".

The userbase also offered a word of warning, with senorjuarez perhaps putting it best:

just remember, the only reason utorrent is popular is because it is small, lightweight, and you can use it to steal music, movies, and software. if you change anything about, someone else will write a client that does just what the current build does, and then you wont have anything but pile of trash that no one uses.

As for improvements, Bram had this to say by way of an official FAQ about the deal:

"Although uTorrent is lightweight, it is missing the patented innovations BitTorrent has made at the protocol level. It is also lacking an implementation for Mac and Linux. We will improve uTorrent in these arenas."

In recent days, BitTorrent has been striking deals with venture capitalists and content providers, leading to fears that the 'underground' is giving way to another Hollywood monopoly.

Have you been using the client? What do you expect to happen now? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.
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