When I first started this blog, I explained how my team, the Peer Networking team, was responsible for the Windows XP Peer-to-Peer SDK. Well, a few months ago we changed our team name to Collaboration Technologies Team. That does not mean that anything has happened to P2P, but rather that we have a clearer focus. All of the technologies that you know and love such as PNRP, Grouping and Graphing are all still alive and kicking, and are still owned by our team. What has happened is that we took a deep look at the industry, a look at our technologies and a look at what end users wanted and saw that the common thread was collaboration.
Right now, collaboration is very difficult for developers to implement as connectivity between client machines is spotty, name resolution is non-existent, and multi-party messaging is difficult to pull off efficiently. This leads to a lot of software that relies on servers in the sky for rendevzous, traffic relaying and message multiplexing. Yet we can deliver the technologies needed to make the experience work without those servers. IPv6 (along with coexistence technologies like Teredo and 6to4) give us the addressability we need, PNRP gives us the name resolution needed, and grouping / graphing give us the needed multicast capabilities. We also have a lot more cool stuff coming that will make it easy for the average developer to enable collaboration in their applications.
I am pretty excited about our focus on collaboration as it means that we can better ensure that our technologies will effectively solve problems that developers face today.