Poll: yes or no to Vista's DRM?

, posted: 30-Dec-2006 11:46

Poll requires Javascript to be enabled. Speaking of Vista and its DRM stuff, Mauricio sent me a link to an interesting take on it and Peter Gutmann's paper which I blogged about earlier, by Cringely. Basically, Cringely is saying that far from being "the longest suicide note in history" as Gutmann said Vista is, the DRM is a clever move by Microsoft. The software giant stands to reap enormous amount of money in partnership with the hardware and recording industry because... everyone will have to buy new gear and content.
Intel and AMD love it. ATI and nVidia love it. Thomson and Philips and Sony and Matsushita and Samsung and LG love it. Every movie studio, TV network, and record company loves it. The only people who don't love it are consumers, and neither industry nor government really cared much about them, ever.
To some extent, Cringely is right. People seem to spend crazy money on home entertainment electronics. I remember when Doom 3 came out, requiring heaps more graphics power than most video cards had at the time. The must-have "Doom 3" card was the NVIDIA GeForce 5900, but it retailed for around NZ$1,500.
I thought there was no way many people would plonk down that kind of money on a new card just to play a computer game. Boy was I wrong. I rang one of the local distributors, who told me the first consigments of 5900s had sold out in a few days. They were kicking themselves for not bringing in more cards into the country, because there was now a shortage of 5900s with the Taiwanese manufacturers shipping everything they had to the larger markets around the world.
However, while I think it's safe to say people are happy to spend lots of money, they also expect expensive stuff to work. If the long HDMI-chain breaks somewhere for a great deal of customers well... let's just say it'll be a long and costly class action lawsuit for Microsoft and its backers.
Then there's the question of what to do with all the perfectly good but non-HDMI compliant gear. That's just about all of today's computers. Where's that going to go? Some landfill somewhere?
This is where I think Gutmann's Chinese-made US$50 premium content player makes a huge amount of sense instead of shoving complex HDMI-based DRM down customers' throats. I also think some consumer protection legislation that regulates how DRM can be used is in order - urgently.

Other related posts:
Fighting with Windows 8
The Windows Phone 7.5 bouncing tiles bug
Windows Live Essentials betas seem good, but oh so flaky

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