At its developer's conference Stephen Turner, a systems engineer with the .net architects team, said the next version of the .net Framework would take advantage of P2P networking.
Microsoft recently demonstrated its interest in P2P with a substantial investment in Groove Networks, a P2P specialist company headed by ex-Lotus Notes developer Ray Ozzie.
Microsoft's implementation of P2P in .net Framework Version 2.0 could allow desktop users to set up services without needing support from a central server.
Christine Axton, lead analyst for P2P at consultancy Ovum, said, "P2P allows Microsoft to look at application logic from a different stance. IBM - and now Microsoft - really understand how collaboration can give an astounding advantage but it will be opposed by database companies like Oracle because it threatens the centralised managed database."
How P2P could help your business
Under present conditions a videoconference involves setting up a service through the centralised IT department. Using P2P, the video and audio links can be set up on an ad-hoc basis, eliminating the use of a videoconference server link.
P2P could also reduce the burden e-mail attachments put on the IT infrastructure. Currently an e-mail sent to 500 staff members with an attachment means that 500 versions of the document have to be stored on an Exchange server. With P2P, a single link to a single copy of the attachment, stored on the user's desktop PC, will massively reduce the server load.