REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 26, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the beta availability of the Microsoft® Windows®
XP Peer-to-Peer Software Development Kit (SDK) and enhancements to the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) networking stack. With the SDK, developers can take advantage of new peer-to-peer infrastructure to create decentralized applications and services for business and consumer scenarios. The SDK includes updated Windows XP application programming interfaces (APIs) for scalable peer-to-peer name resolution, efficient multipoint communication, creation and management of persistent peer-to-peer groups, and distributed data management. Enhancements to IPv6 include support for Network Address Translation (NAT) traversal and an IPv6 firewall to help protect IPv6-enabled machines.
“By supporting both decentralized and centralized models of computing and information sharing, Microsoft can best address the high-level needs of its business customers, who need to be more agile, more flexible and more responsive to customer needs,”
said Jack Ozzie, vice president of developer services at Groove Networks.
“The enhanced peer-to-peer support for Windows XP will enable developers to more easily build decentralized applications.”
Opportunities for New and Existing Applications
“In the past the discussion has been about how computers can do a better job of talking to other computers, yet the future of business is about how people interact widely with many people around shared information, knowledge and content,”
said Andy Mulholland, chief technology officer at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.
“We are very excited about the work that Microsoft is doing in this area and how we can use it to further increase the value of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Adaptive Enterprise vision. This provides a foundation to build ever-increasing capabilities for more business value to enable enterprises to be more efficient and responsive, and move in real time.”
Graham Brown, executive vice president of software development at Corel Corp. said,
“We see peer-to-peer technology as a great way to enhance many of our current and future products. Corel Grafigo is a strong example of how easily graphics can be captured, shared and modified on the Tablet PC. By taking a peer-to-peer approach to adding collaboration and data sharing features to our applications we can add new capabilities that better address the mobile, decentralized nature of our customers’ businesses.”
Additional IPv6 Support
IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol, will expand the Internet’s ability to provide valuable and exciting scenarios, including decentralized and mobile applications. IPv6 helps solve a critical scalability problem associated with the Internet today. As more devices are connected to the Internet, the availability of unique, public IP addresses is decreasing. Because IPv6 provides a much larger address space than IPv4, each device connected to the Internet with IPv6 can have its own unique address, enabling computers and devices to directly communicate with one another.
The Windows XP Peer-to-Peer SDK beta uses IPv6 for all peer-to-peer application communication. The related Windows XP Peer-to-Peer Networking Update supports automatic tunneling technology, enabling IPv6 communication over existing IPv4 networks and NAT devices. NAT devices are typically used in home networks where there is a single public IPv4 address shared among multiple computers that have private IPv4 addresses. With the enhanced IPv6 support in Windows XP, computers with private IP addresses can communicate with each other without requiring that users manually configure their NAT device attached to the Internet. This frees developers from the limitations of NAT devices that have to date impeded the deployment of peer-to-peer applications.
“We are excited to further enhance IPv6 support in the Windows XP platform,”
said Jawad Khaki, corporate vice president of Windows Networking and Communication Technologies at Microsoft.
“The broad adoption of IPv6 will help accelerate the development of innovative peer-to-peer applications without requiring changes to the existing IPv4 applications and infrastructure.”
Built-In Support for Peer-to-Peer
By using APIs described in the Windows XP Peer-to-Peer SDK beta, developers can concentrate on their applications and not the lower-level plumbing needed to support many common peer-to-peer scenarios. For example, a fundamental capability of any peer-to-peer application is to find and interact with other peers. This is made more difficult by the lack of end-to-end connectivity and transient network addresses. The Windows XP Peer-to-Peer SDK helps developers solve these problems by providing a scalable and distributed name resolution system built on IPv6. The Windows XP Peer-to-Peer SDK beta also provides an infrastructure for efficient multipoint communication and distributed data management and also includes a security model for how groups are created, and what data can be accessed by which peers.
The Windows XP Peer-to-Peer SDK beta is available for download now from MSDN®
at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/downloads/list/winxppeer.asp . The final release of SDK and related Windows XP Peer-to-Peer Update will be available later this year. Additional information on peer-to-peer can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/p2p . Additional information on IPv6 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/ipv6/default.mspx .
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