BitTorrent has released version 3.0 of its minimal client. After eight betas (the first one was released in April 2011), and thanks to 4 million users helping test them, µTorrent 3.0 is now available. You can download it directly for Windows.

In addition to µTorrent's core downloading capabilities, the new software adds many new features (hence the major version number bump). Streaming lets you preview a file long before it's fully downloaded. Remote access lets people access their µTorrent client via a Web interface or from µTorrent's Android app. Ratings and Comments aggregate the collective wisdom of the community to ensure the quality of torrent downloads. For a more details, here's the official feature list:

  • Streaming: Watch videos within seconds with progressive downloading – no need to wait for the entire file to download. This feature is especially useful for previewing a file before committing to the full download.
  • µTorrent Remote: Start, stop, and monitor torrent downloads on the go. Access the µTorrent client from any Web browser (visit https://remote.utorrent.com to sign up), or download the beta of our Android app.
  • Ratings and Comments: Ratings enables the collective wisdom of the community to ensure the quality and security of downloaded torrents. Join in and contribute by simply clicking on the ratings or comment buttons in the torrent manager.
  • Drag-and-Drop Sending: Easily send massive personal files – e.g. home movies, smart phone videos and hi-res photos – directly from µTorrent. Select a file on your computer, drag it into the µTorrent "Drop files to send" box and µTorrent will create a Web link. Send the link via e-mail, social media post or similar to share your content.
  • Simplified UI: Minimize parts of the µTorrent interface with a click. Perfect for anybody who wants a minimal interface, this feature cuts out distractions and focuses on the business of finding and playing content.
  • Portable Mode: Run the µTorrent client directly from a USB key and take it anywhere.
  • Stability etc.: Under-the-hood improvements including a focus on stability as well as improved Web seeding to add speed and reliability to the process of finding the original source of a single-source file.
  • µChat app (beta): Chat with other µTorrent users around the world in real-time by installing this optional app.

The last point isn't really part of the 3.0 release: µChat is an optional app that enables real-time chat with other BitTorrent users around the world, directly within the µTorrent 3.0 or the BitTorrent Chrysalis client. µChat is meant for new users looking for help on how to use the software, but enthusiasts can use it to share advanced tips with one another and independent artists can use it to directly communicate with their fans.

µChat leverages BitTorrent technology, which means user IP addresses will be visible to other chat participants. It's still in beta, but here is what's being promised:

  • General chat rooms…users may create persistent or occasional rooms by broad topic with larger numbers of chat members.
  • Private conversations…users may create a dedicated room with an invited friend or someone whom they met in a general room.
  • Buddy list…no registration required.
  • Quick Share…within µChat, you may select one of your torrents, generate a magnet link and send it to your chat friends.

In January 2011, the company revealed that BitTorrent and µTorrent hit 100 million monthly users. On an average day, 20 million users from over 220 countries use either of the two BitTorrent clients, available in 52 languages, and 400,000 new clients are downloaded every day.