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Windows 7 RC and Vista SP2 Drive MSDN to Its Knees

Yesterday, April 30, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) and also the final version of Windows Vista SP2 for download at MSDN and other restricted access Microsoft developer and beta test sites. The world took notice, and started hammering Microsoft’s servers mercilessly and ceaselessly.

How can I say this? Because I’ve been working with the Microsoft File Transfer Manager for some time now to download ISOs for various OSes, all kinds of tools (WAIK, debuggers, devtools, and more), service packs, and other stuff for some time now. On most days, it’s not unusual for me to experience download speeds of 1.5 – 2.0 MBps (12-16 Mbps), and my normal speeds are usually in excess of 800 KBps (6.4 Mbps) at any and all times.

But that’s not true since the news about these items hit the net yesterday. I’ve been lucky to get a maximum of 350 KBps (2.8 Mbps) on downloads and values keep dipping below 150 – 200 Kbps (1.2-1.6 Mbps) on a pretty regular basis. This translates into the kinds of download times reported in the following table.

Item Size Time Req’d
Win 7 RC x86 2.357 GB 4:37
Win 7 RC x64 3.046 GB 5:19
Vista x86 SP2 final 1.345 GB 2:07

What does this mean to those with access to MSDN or other restricted download pages on MS Web sites? If you can wait for the initial rush to die down, you’ll probably be a much happier camper. As for me, I couldn’t wait because I have to write about all of this stuff right away, starting today. Fortunately, I was able to queue this stuff up overnight before crashing last night (by which time I’d already downloaded the complete x64 Win7 RC anyway) and find the complete downloads waiting for me on disk when I got up this morning. For the time being, however, MSDN (and other restricted) downloads can only be described as “slow going!”

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