United Kingdom-based AllPeers.com’s recent announcement of their AllPeers Firefox extension has stirred the blogosphere in a rush.
The self-proclaimed “best thing to happen to Firefox, since Firefox” plugin promises to offer BitTorrent-esque capabilities built right in to Firefox for bloggers, and end-users to easily transfer massive amounts of data with no central server.
The rush of interest is somewhat unwarranted, the company has yet to announce a release date, saying the product will be available “soon,” and publishing a collection of screenshots of the product at work.
“This can be great and dangerous all at the same time. Just look at all the problem file sharing currently has. However, if you know who you are sharing with, there should be no problems. ” says one blogger.
Many bloggers believe this plugin will be the “killer app,” Firefox needs to push it’s marketshare forward. The plugin has the potential to begin a word-of-mouth promotionairy campaign for Firefox as users begin to adopt the platform as a way of sharing their files with friends and family.
“By using a peer network of some sort, Firefox will exploit the publicity surrounding this functionality which has the potential to multiply the number of people exposed to the Firefox application tremendously. This could be huge,” writes another blogger.
While there is no doubt peer-to-peer technology has strong potential, one has to wonder whether the web-browser is the location the peer-to-peer systems should be implemented. Peer-to-peer technologies such as Kazaa or Limewire rely on the fact that a substantial number of users will “seed” their files after they are done with the software, usually by leaving the software running in the system tray, a web-browser does not lend it self to this practice kindly, as users usually run their web-browser until the download is complete, then leave. Until upstream bandwidth becomes equal or greater than the downstream bandwidth, it is hard to see a proper balancing act, as required by P2P technology.