Vuze Inc. is introducing version 4.0 of its BitTorrent client later this week in an effort to both win back hardcore P2P users and broaden the overall user base of the file sharing protocol. Vuze 4.0 features a completely revamped interface, a new (and actually pretty clever) subscription mechanism, as well as the option to search third-party torrent sites like Mininova. The application continues to offer access to Vuzeís own content platform, albeit in a slightly less in-your-face kind of way. The content patform, now called Vuze HD Network, is also shifting directions.

Vuze 4.0 is an interesting piece of software, if only because it shows how difficult it is to monetize P2P. Competitors like BitTorrent Inc. have tried and failed to convert users into paying online video customers. Vuze is now taking a gamble by going back to its pirate-friendly roots, hoping to convince both its users and content owners to give free and ad-supported P2P-downloads a chance. Itís risky ó but it may just be the only thing that works. Continue reading on

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