This is why I will never buy Vista

We already know that Windows Vista (also known as Chicken) will require everyone to buy new monitors. This in itself is enough for me not to bother to upgrade. But there is more…

MS decided to give the last word in nearly every aspect of Vista design to Hollywood execs!

Movie studios will have explicit veto power over what is included in some parts of Vista. For example, pages 22-24 describe the “High Bandwidth Cipher” which will be used to encrypt video data is it passes across the PC’s internal PCIe bus. Hollywood will allow the use of the AES cipher, but many PCs won’t be able to run AES fast enough, leading to stutter in the video. People are free to design their own ciphers, but they must go through an approval process before being included in Windows Vista. The second criterion for acceptance is this:

Content industry acceptance
The evidence must be presented to Hollywood and other content owners, and they must agree that it provides the required level of security. Written proof from at least three of the major Hollywood studios is required.

Great! So now, not only do I have to change my monitor, but I also have to buy a faster CPU to run the cipher that meets the requirements of Hollywood studios. It’s not like MS ever really cared about users, but this is really a slap in the face.

Of course the funniest thing is that someone somewhere will either figure out how to break the DRM, or make a bootleg recording, bypassing the DRM issue altogether. Once that bootleg hits circulation, all that expensive technology becomes useless. It will simply prevent the paying consumers from enjoying their multimedia content to the full extent, and inhibit their ability to exercise their fair use rights.

On the other hand, those who download the illegal copies will get high quality content, without crippling DRM for free. See the problem here? Right now, people want to buy original products because they are superior to bootlegs and low quality dvd rips. But as soon as soon as these bootlegs become superior in quality, and more user friendly than the cripple official copies, Hollywood will loose money.

Windows Media Player might refuse to play non-drm’ed media files (although this is unlikely – they do want people to be able to play their old files from pre-drm era) but there will still be plenty of 3rd party players. And if MS somehow manages to lock non trusted content out entirely there’s always movix. Put it on a DVD with the movie, boot your computer from it, and enjoy the show 🙂

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in some kind of bizzaro world. Did everyone just went insane recently? I am truly terrified for my children’s future. What kind of messed up world will they end up living? My only hope is that I will be long dead before the “trusted” computing kills the home PC, and MS Thought Police ™ will be chasing Thought Thieves.

One thing has to be said here. Hollywood and MS are really perfect match. The collective greed of Hollywood can be only matched by the corporate greed found in Redmond…


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