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Windows 10 can download updates from other PCs

Barry Collins
16 Mar 2015
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Bandwidth-saving feature promises to make Windows Update less of a nightmare

Microsoft is building a new feature into Windows 10 that allows the operating system to download updates from other PCs on the home network. The feature, spotted by The Verge in a leaked build of the operating system, could potentially speed up the delivery of Windows Updates in homes with multiple PCs. 

Despite several improvements to the system over the years, Windows Update remains the bane of many PC users' lives. However, this latest revision at least promises to save on the time it takes to download updates across all of your PCs. 

A leaked screenshot shows two options, allowing users to "Download apps and OS updates from Microsoft and PCs on my local network" or from "PCs on my local network and PCs on the internet". It suggests there's a peer-to-peer mechanism being built into Windows 10 which means all updates don't have to be downloaded directly from Microsoft's servers for the first time.

Everything you need to know about Windows 10

The option to transfer updates from other PCs on the home network could be particularly useful for those on slow broadband connections, meaning they may only have to download large updates once and then share them with all the other devices in the home. 

Such technology isn't entirely new to Windows. Microsoft introduced a feature called Branch Cache in Windows Server, which allowed PCs in the same office to download copies of files from other users, instead of having to re-download them from the server every time.

Microsoft is expected to release an official new build of Windows 10 early this week. Build  10036 has already been made widely available on torrent sites, showing features such as (yet another) new design for the Start menu, and improvements to the virtual desktop feature, which allows users to drag apps from one desktop to another for the first time.  

 

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