Windows Vista’s DRM is bad news

“Windows Vista includes an array of ‘features’ that you don’t want. These features will make your computer less reliable and less secure. They’ll make your computer less stable and run slower. They will cause technical support problems. They may even require you to upgrade some of your peripheral hardware and existing software. And these features won’t do anything useful. In fact, they’re working against you. They’re digital rights management (DRM) features built into Vista at the behest of the entertainment industry,” Bruce Schneier reports for Forbes.

“And you don’t get to refuse them,” Schneier reports. “…Basically Microsoft has reworked a lot of the core operating system to add copy protection technology for new media formats like HD-DVD and Blu-ray disks. Certain high-quality output paths–audio and video–are reserved for protected peripheral devices. Sometimes output quality is artificially degraded; sometimes output is prevented entirely. And Vista continuously spends CPU time monitoring itself, trying to figure out if you’re doing something that it thinks you shouldn’t. If it does, it limits functionality and in extreme cases restarts just the video subsystem.”

“I don’t see the market righting this wrong, because Microsoft’s monopoly position gives it much more power than we consumers can hope to have. It might not be as obvious as Microsoft using its operating system monopoly to kill Netscape and own the browser market, but it’s really no different. Microsoft’s entertainment market grab might further entrench its monopoly position, but it will cause serious damage to both the computer and entertainment industries. DRM is bad, both for consumers and for the entertainment industry: something the entertainment industry is just starting to realize, but Microsoft is still fighting. Some researchers think that this is the final straw that will drive Windows to the competition, but I think the courts are necessary,” Schneier reports.

Schneier reports, “In the meantime, the only advice I can offer you is to not upgrade to Vista. It will be hard. Microsoft’s bundling deals with computer manufacturers mean that it will be increasingly hard not to get the new operating system with new computers. And Microsoft has some pretty deep pockets and can wait us all out if it wants to. Yes, some people will shift to Macintosh and some fewer number to Linux, but most of us are stuck on Windows. Still, if enough customers say no to Vista, the company might actually listen.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You’re not “stuck on Windows.” It’s time to think different and exit the dark ages of personal computing. Get a Mac and, if need be, run Windows XP on that Mac for any Windows-only programs you might need while you learn about Mac OS X and Mac software alternatives. You never have to buy Vista, just upgrade past it to Mac OS X Tiger (with Leopard coming soon!), and you’ll soon learn how to compute far better without Microsoft.

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  1. If you’re talking about PCs as entertainment devices, then you actually do have a choice. Being “stuck with Windows” is typically a work-related issue. Entertainment devices are typically consumer-related. Crossing the two — in terms of what we’re “stuck” with — is illogical thinking.

    If you’re using your Vista PC at work for entertainment, then you’re probably not doing your job anyway.

    If you want to use a computer as an entertainment device or hub, you surely do have a choice.

    Get a Mac.

  2. I’m just waiting for 10.5 and then i will spend some money on my first Intel Macbook Pro with hopefully an soon to come 12 ” screen and a 24″ cinema Display ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. “I am so sick and tired of the helpless attitude of the general public.”

    Most of them don’t know they have options in spite of Apple’s advertising campaigns. They are also ignorant and say dumb things like “Macs are for artists”, “Apple is going bankrupt”, “Sony is buying Apple”, “
    We use IBM” and other stupid things that maybe had relevance 10 years ago.

  4. I agree with everyone…What does Apple have to do to get these “cavemen and cavewomen” to switch?
    Notice how I used the Geico politically correct group to denograte since there are not cavemen left to bitch, instead of retards or idiots
    which there are still a lot of.

    Give them the box and charge 1499.00 for the OS? Thats a good deal!!.

    Listen all Windows users in business and at home, you are morons for using this crap that MS keeps shoveling.

    Please at least try a Mac and if you don’t like it you can have your old PC back, promise.

    Thanks for your attention.

  5. Apple is making consistent, and significant, incremental gains in market share. As long as Apple avoid making any blunders, the Mac will reach a point some time in the not-to-distant future where they start to put significant pressure on Microsoft, and perhaps on Dell.

    Apple are already at that point in the home market – courtesy of iPod, iTunes, Apple Stores and now Apple TV as well as the Mac. As Apple roll out more Apple stores worldwide, market share outside the USA will rise rapidly – closing the gap with the USA.

    Issues such as this (Vista/DRM) will continue to generate negative publicity for Microsoft, and make users less enthusiastic about Vista. And if Vista proves just as vulnerable to security breaches as XP, consumer resistance will become a major problem for MS.

  6. The worst part about all the “trusted computing” content protection crap in Vista is that most of it hasn’t even been turned on yet.
    That won’t happen for two or three years and then the real you don’t own your PC, MIcrosoft does fun will begin.

  7. So strange how the 90% that use Microsoft Windows and other software just don’t care of their droconian strangehold on them. And also the sinsiter privacy invasion their software does to the user without their even being aware of let. Let alone authorize Microsoft the invasion.

    But so many are up in arms on Apple and iTunes/iPod.

    I guess this 90% user base of Microsoft Windows are the same ones that cared and watched the 24/7 “news” of the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Mindless. Clueless. That’s the Microsoft Windows user.

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