BitTorrent Inc. has announced today that they are planning to launch a paid version of the popular µTorrent client. There is yet to be a complete list of features, however, so far they have revealed that µTorrentPlus will have the ability to convert videos and transfer files to portable devices such as iPods etc.
At present, the µTorrent team is working on finalising an invite-only beta version of the client according to TorrentFreak, with the expectation that more details about the program will be published in the coming weeks. Those wishing to put their name down to qualify for early access must do so through their webpage. No price has yet been set for µTorrentPlus according to Jordy Berson who is Director of Product Management for the brand.
There has however so far, been pessimism expressed from some users who feel that the fundamental cause of a file-sharing client is being undermined as BitTorrent Inc. pursues charging users for an advanced version of torrenting software. Mr Berson said that:
“We think of it more as diversifying revenue sources. Some of the features will involve us paying licensing fees so it’s not like this is a pure profit business for us, although given our scale we’ll be able to negotiate good terms and pass on to customers a great value”.
Since µTorrent is used by almost 100 million users worldwide, making it the most popular file sharing client on the Internet, this represents a potential shift in the way that people use the software. If it is successful, it may mean than other developers will follow suit in duplicating the business model for their own software; only time will tell as to whether the idea will take off with users.
Image Source: utorrent.com