Forget multitouch: By far the most disruptive — and overlooked — feature of the Flash Player 10.1 beta that Adobe launched this week is the ability to transmit video via P2P multicast. In fact, Adobe built some enhanced P2P capabilities into both the new Flash Player and Air 2 beta that could be used to replicate BitTorrent functionality within Flash, build large-scale P2P groupware solutions that work right within the browser and stream video to millions of viewers without having to pay a fortune for bandwidth.

Adobe has been hinting at big plans for P2P ever since it bought a small P2P startup called amicima in early 2007. It made some of amicima’s technology available to developers about a year ago, but restricted it to small-scale use cases like P2P video conferencing or multiplayer games based on a few Flash players directly connected to each other via P2P. With Flash Player 10.1, Adobe appears ready to open the floodgates. CDNs and P2P video solutions providers would be well-advised to take notice. Continue reading on

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