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Microsoft scores with free Windows 10 upgrade as downloads tally 10x Windows 8's first-day sales

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 3, 2015
Distribution goes smoothly for most ISPs and delivery networks.

So far, Microsoft's upgrade delivery has gone very smoothly, said Dan Rayburn, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan. "Overall, it seems most ISPs are doing well," with a few experiencing some quality of service or quality of experience issues, Rayburn wrote on his own, where he covers Internet traffic issues. "Third-party data shows that the CDNs Microsoft is using for a large percentage of downloads have so far not experienced any performance problems."

Earlier in the week, Rayburn, citing unnamed sources, said that Microsoft had reserved an unprecedented 40Tbps (terabits per second) capacity with various CDNs for Windows 10's distribution. He predicted that the new OS and free upgrade deal would set traffic records, and said that they could impact the Internet in general.

"Based on numbers I have been given, total traffic amongst all CDNs delivering the update looks to have peaked at around 10Tbps," Rayburn said.

Other estimates pointed to both larger and smaller spikes in ISP traffic. California-based Procera Networks, which provides data analytics and other services to broadband operators, reported a Windows 10 upgrade peak of 30Tbps at one European ISP. Meanwhile, Canadian networking firm Sandvine said that downloads to Windows Insiders -- the beta test participants who had first dibs on the upgrade -- accounted for just 6% to 8% of one American ISP's traffic on Tuesday, then dropped to 3% to 4% the next day.

Rayburn applauded Microsoft for its planning and execution. "Microsoft's approach of staging Windows 10 downloads in a tiered model is working well and was a smart way to go about it," he said. "The way Microsoft is metering the delivery seems to have provided most with a good download experience."

At the same time, Rayburn cautioned that the upgrade process had just begun and simultaneously maintained his forecast that it would break records. "Overall, Windows 10 will result in the largest number of bits being delivered on the Web for a single event," he said.


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