Traffic Overload Shuts Users Out of MSDN Site

Microsoft experiences traffic overload with one of its download sites, as users flood it in search of code for Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework.

Subscribers to Microsofts Developers Network were still experiencing problems late Wednesday afternoon (PST) trying to download the just released final code for Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework from the site.

A Microsoft spokesman confirmed to eWeek that the reason for the delay was overwhelming demand by subscribers to immediately download the Visual Studio .Net code. Microsoft was working on adding more servers to remedy the problem, but some subscribers had been able to get through on repeated attempts, he said.

Until Microsoft can complete adding more servers to the site, it has posted the following message: "Due to the unexpectedly high demand for the Visual Studio .NET download, some subscribers are experiencing delays getting access to the MSDN Subscriber Downloads. We are increasing our server capacity now to better meet the demand. Thank you for your patience."

When asked why Microsoft had not prepared better for anticipated demand for the product, which the Redmond software firm claims enjoyed the largest public beta in its history, with over 3.5 million copies distributed, the spokesman said "my understanding is that they certainly anticipated high demand for Visual Studio .Net given the beta distribution, but just not as immediately and as heavily as the demand has been this morning."

Earlier in the day MSDN subscribers got a message saying: "The request cannot be processed at this time. The amount of traffic exceeds the Web sites configured capacity."

Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework essentially provide developers with a fully integrated set of developer tools and the platform to build, deploy and run XML Web services and applications in the programming languages of their choice.

Microsoft will be hosting its worldwide launch of Visual Studio .NET on February 13 in San Francisco. Events will continue in more than 145 cities worldwide.

One annoyed MSDN subscriber who had still not been able to download the code by late Wednesday afternoon, said it was ironic that Microsoft was betting its future on the Net and its .Net strategy "but cannot even support a few developers who paid $2,000 for the privilege of priority access to the software."

But a Microsoft developer in Long Beach, Calif. came to Microsofts defense, saying "I challenge you to identify a network infrastructure that could serve up thousands of concurrent downloads of a 1.5+ GB file. I, for one, was able to download all three versions of Visual Studio.NET between 9:00am and 12:00pm this morning."

The latest download snafu comes in the same week as Windows users were prevented from being able to download critical patches to protect their computers from security vulnerabilities due to a five-day problem with a Domain Name Server on the Windows Update site from last Thursday to Tuesday.

The glitch with the Windows Update site comes just days after users started complaining that the automatic security updates being downloaded for Windows XP were causing their systems to become unstable and some device drivers to stop working.