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BitTorrent's Project Maelstrom Goes Beta: Here's What's New With The Secure Browser

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File-sharing site BitTorrent is advancing its vision for a distributed web by offering up a set of developer tools and expanding its test group for the alpha version of Project Maelstrom, launched in late 2014.

For those not familiar with Project Maelstrom, it's BitTorrent's web browser aimed at establishing a completely neutral, content-friendly network. According to CEO Eric Klinker, the goal is to have the web work the way BitTorrent works.

"It's a vision for the Internet that we've long held at BitTorrent; we believe it's a necessary innovation to sustain a truly neutral, content-friendly network," Klinker wrote in a blog post.

What would that be like?

"Project Maelstrom aims to answer that question with a web browser that powers a new way for web content to be published, accessed and consumed," he said.

Within just a few short months, BitTorrent has recruited developers, publishers and tests, citing 10,000 developers on board and 3,500 publishers. Klinker explained that all of this activity will help BitTorrent build the "next 20 years of the Internet."

To see that vision become a reality, BitTorrent is releasing developer tools and expanding its testing base as well as debuting the Project Maelstrom browser beta. Klinker described it as an open beta for Windows users that offers an efficient, cost-effective and scalable option to HTTP. The tools will help developers and publishers leverage BitTorrent technology in creating interactive experiences and content.

"Today, we're expanding access to everyone so that tomorrow we will have a sustainable, content-friendly Internet, powered by people," he wrote.

As Project Maelstrom product manager Rob Velasquez noted in a separate blog announcement, the beta, tools and testing expansion are altogether a big step toward crafting a distributed web that can sustain an open Internet and doesn't need servers.

He said they intend to provide technology that "allows anyone to publish to a truly open web, and that uses the power of distributed technology to scale efficiently." The alpha release, he continued, offers better stability, support for auto-update and DHT visualization for users when loading torrents.

"The developer tool for publishing will help you build for Project Maelstrom easily, even from the command line. This will streamline the process for creating and publishing content for other users to access while using Project Maelstrom," he wrote.

"The new beta of Project Maelstrom has the ease of use of a browser, with all of the power of BitTorrent technology. We hope you enjoy building with it."

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