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

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