uTorrent Linux edition – People want it because….?

It is being reported that the popular Windows Bittorrent Client uTorrent is finally coming to Linux after many years.  We reported recently that on the “idea bank” on the uTorrent site, users were requesting a native Linux version and one look at almost any swarm does indeed show the popularity of this closed source package.

Linux users have long since been able to run uTorrent through Wine if they so wish but the question I ask about uTorrent is what’s the point?

On my previous article I wanted to know what all the fuss about uTorrent was because whilst admittedly my Bittorrent need is very small (the odd distro from Linuxtracker) I could not see what uTorrent was offering that was not already catered for with say Transmission or Deluge (or indeed a plethora of other clients out there)

The general consensus (or what some people would like you to believe) is that Linux users want everything to be “open source”, which now seems to be a myth and the demand for uTorrent would suggest that.  I personally have no issue with closed source software, in fact Im a supporter of the demo scene which thrives on the secrecy of source from “competitors” and unless Im mistaken has always been a closed source environment.

So I find myself asking the question yet again, why do users seem to want uTorrent so much?  Is the name synonymous with the bittorrent protocol and the package you HAVE to use because BT == uTorrent?  I’d love to hear an answer since in my limited usage of the Transmission client, I fail to see what else uTorrent could offer.

I’ve searched the comments section of the Idea’s Bank in order to try and find a reason behind uTorrent popularity and the closest comments Ive found to that have been:

There is no torrent client for Linux that approaches the usability and quality of features (in such a small package!) as uTorrent.

and

I’ve tryed many torrent client on linux (like transmission, vuze, deluge and flush) but uTorrent in still the best…..

Are you any wiser to what’s better about uTorrent and why the clients we already have native to Linux are “not as good”?

Back to the subject at hand, the devs over on the uTorrent site have said (in relation to the development of the Linux version)

We’re working on it, but I can’t tell you how the final release will be.

and Torrentfreak.com is reporting that Jenna Broughton from the uTorrent team said to them:

We obviously want to do our best to deliver whenever we see a good fit between our goals and capabilities and what our users say they want….We are committed to bringing a lightweight uTorrent client that embraces the usability and features of our Windows and Mac clients to Linux users…

and the Windows users who claim Linux has a less than 1% market share might want to consider Ms Broughton’s comment of:

Since launching our Idea Bank on uTorrent.com there has been significant demand for a native client for Linux

Significant demand.  That doesn’t to me suggest that Linux can be dismissed any more by the Microsoft advocates who still hang on to the hope that nobody has noticed Linux.

You can read the excellent Torrentfreak article here: http://torrentfreak.com/utorrent-for-linux-is-coming-finally-100601/ and provisionally set summer 2010 as the release date for the Linux version.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the Openbytes statement, here.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Ah, but is there any advantage to Microsoft in admitting the truth? We both know that there isn’t.

  2. Agent_Smith says:

    Ohhh, no, not that nonsense again. What’s next ??? The former winblow$/Linux noobs will want programmers to port the winblow$ virus too, because they miss them on Linux ??? Nonsense

  3. openbytes says:

    Having considered this article over the last day (since my net went down) I came up with this theory:

    Maybe the demand for uTorrent is coming from recently migrated Windows users who unlike us have been used to using uTorrent as their client of choice. Ive often said that 3rd party apps were a reason cited to me by users needing to stay with Windows. Maybe this uTorrent news signifies that they have infact moved to Linux and want to have native packages that they are accustomed too….

    I say this because I cannot see any long term Linux user wanting uTorrent since there have been so many Linux ones to get used to. In addition if uTorrent did have a magic feature which was unique and “great”, I am sure that one of the big name Linux clients would have already implimented it.

    Just my opinion, but food for thought.

  4. Agent_Smith says:

    I used uTorrent via wine for some time too. But Ktorrent, at that time, was atrocious and uTorrent was very good. The open source counterparts happened not only to catchup with uTorrent, but even surpassed it by now. Transmission has everything uTorrent has, it quacks like uTorrent, has the DHT, the encryption, the UnPNP. I guess folks don’t really want to change. They want to come over Linux and still have the same things from winblow$. No, no, we must shake them up and wake them. There are far more choices and interesting softwares this side (FLOSS) of Information Technology.

  5. openbytes says:

    From speaking with a few regular uTorrent users, it does appear that in many cases this is some sort of “comfort zone” for ex Windows users who have now migrated. I think this will be one of many packages to make the move and I’m nearly certainly that we will have a native Photoshop within a couple of years.

    The bell toll’s for the Windows platform and the only stay of execution its had are its 3rd party apps.
    😉

  6. The Bell has been tolling for Windows for a damned long time, but it’s just like the Zombies in a Mira Grant novel (disclosure – Mira Grant is a pen name used by Seanan McGuire who is a family friend – pick up her book FEED, it’s awesome).

    The problem is that there are times you can’t get rid of the damned thing. I need to do some specialty programming over the next couple of months, so out comes that damned Windows box I have sitting in a corner of the basement. Yeah, I could try and do it under WINE, but the crap I’m working with is pretty non-standard. WINE is great at standard stuff, but it doesn’t always handle weird all that well…

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