So, I read something on Slashdot yesterday, it was talking about torrents replacing other means of downloads, that is to say, it would replace things such as OS patches, game patches (like World of Warcraft already does, and I think League of Legends does it too).
What does this mean? It would mean, whenever new content is released, like for example, when the release candidate for Windows 7 first came out, it was really hard to get a copy of it, due to strains on the servers.
To give you an idea of how torrents work, (Actually I'm not too sure on parts of it myself) what usually happens, is that the torrent will have a tracker where the person's client will connect, and get a list of peers. There's also DHT (Distributed Hash Table) , which is another feature with bittorrent , however I'm unclear myself as to the full mechanics of it. Read here for more info on DHT.
Moving on, what does this mean if we replaced standard http/ftp downloads with bittorrent? This will mean, that there will be less strain on the distributer's servers, because, once one person downloads it, he will start 'seeding' peices of the files which he downloaded from the distributer, to other people that connect to the tracker, or via DHT. So, instead of 1 central location being bombarded with thousands upon thousands of download requests, we have many people from different areas sharing the same file. Not only does this help reduce bandwidth costs for the distributer, but it helps improve the download rate.
Should we switch to torrents for Games/OS patches, and everything else? I don't see why not, it's a very effective way of distribution. It's only pitfall is, after a while if people stop 'seeding' (uploading) , then the download will die off until someone seeds again.
Having said that, this may cause a problem for such institutions for public schools, where they usually block non-standard ports (80, 443, sometimes 21-23 are considered standard) , if major OS's were to move to bittorrent. What would this allow for if they allowed torrent traffic? Probably kids pirating stuff in school etc.
But, nevertheless , with every good side , there's always of course downside too.