Vista (revisited)  

Friday, March 30, 2007

A commenter wrote about my recent WGA rant:

As much as we all instinctively dislike big-brother-all-knowing rich organizations, I think Microsoft has a right to do whatever she wants on her software in order to assure it is legal.


Again, let me emphasize that I don't really dislike Microsoft or Windows. I dislike some of the more recent trends and their anti-trust leanings. I like having a stable, highly compatible operating system that I can install and play almost any game on. That's why I have a computer - for gaming (and internet surfing, but any computer should be able to surfing the internet these days).

But, Microsoft has overstepped its bounds as an OS provider into monitoring what I do on my computer and disabling services. It's overstepped as a software provider into policing my hardware, the other software I install on the computer, and deciding whether or not I'm within my legal rights. That is not the role of an operating system.

I can understand an operating system not supporting an obscure piece of software or hardware because there are so many different pieces of hardware and software out there. But to intentionally block a service because Microsoft has decided that it's not compliant with the DRM is ridiculous.

If I buy a music CD, I should be able to burn it to my computer. I should be able to listen to that music in any format I want. I should be able to make a backup in case the medium fails. That doesn't give me the right to give the music to everyone or make a profit from it. But if all I'm doing is transferring the song to my iPod so I can listen to it in my car or at work, then why am I considered a criminal?

Along the same lines, if I use a music protocol like S/PDIF that doesn't provide content protection, what right does Microsoft have to block me from using it on my computer? What if I'm making my own music? Why shouldn't I be able to use any format I want to use?

Open source hardware support is under fire too. Microsoft is going to scan hardware emulators for protected devices to make sure they're genuine. Third parties will be shut out of the open source arena.

The overhead for all of this content protection is CPU intensive, causing degradation of service. Why am I being penalized for piracy? Now I have to pay more for better hardware in order to get relatively the same results, all because Microsoft has taken a heavy-handed approach.

My main gripe is that all of this protection does nothing to stop hackers. They find a way around the protection. But the normal users - me, in this case - continue to have to put up with the protection problems because I want to use my system legally. Even though I believe that Microsoft is infringing on my rights, I would rather have a legal copy of the system and use it as it was intended. I just wish they wouldn't make it so difficult.

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1 comments: to “ Vista (revisited)

  • Sylvene
    Friday, March 30, 2007 at 6:23:00 PM CDT  

    Heh. I have a total of 4 machines running Windows XP. I no longer remember which disc was used on which machine.

    Each time I make a change.. upgrade a piece.. do a wipe and re-install, I end up calling Microsoft to get an authorization number. Probably also because I just use the latest disc so I don't have to download SP2 all over again, so the original number probably wouldn't take.

    *chuckles* The reps don't care. All Mr. phone rep with the Anglo-Indian accent wants is for me to verify that I have a valid copy of the software.

 

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