We're seeing some interesting trends in the numbers of downloads of the Windows SDK, and it we would like to get feedback from SDK users about your experiences with SDK downloads.
As many of you know, we release both an ISO and web version of our setup. The ISO version is simply an IMG of the SDK, about 1.1 or 1.2 GB in size, which you can download in full to your disk. Using the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel, you can create a virtual drive or you can burn the ISO to disk and install it like any other “hard” version of software.
The web setup, on the other hand, has been one of the main focuses of my work in the last year. The Setup team has improved the web setup experience, and now it is a really good choice for many of our users, especially those who want to just download individual chunks of the SDK, such as compilers or the SDK tools.
What's really interesting is that over the last several releases, the ratio between ISO and web downloads has changed dramatically. Thus far for RC1, the ratio is roughly 1:1 between ISO and web. For June CTP the ratio is 3:2. And for Beta 2, the numbers are roughly 3:1 between ISO and web.
It seems clear that use of the web download is trending upward over time. The reason for this trend is something we’d like to understand. Are users seeing the web download as being more secure or better than the ISO? Does it have something to do with the locations of the files on download.microsoft.com? We’d love to have your feedback.