This white paper is an extremely interesting read about the future of computing as envisioned by Microsoft, particularly in relation to what they’re doing with their new Vista operating system. The paper itself is rather long (and a highly recommended read), so here’s the very short summary: Vista is going to suck it longer and harder than Aholah and Aholibah combined. That’s some Biblical suckage right there.
As for the slightly longer summary, Vista is going to have all sorts of Draconian “premium content protection” restrictions that make computers mostly unusable for the average joe. For instance, any output that isn’t crippled with DRM (which pretty much includes everything on the market today) has to be either disabled or degraded in the presence of “premium content”. So, do you have a nice LCD monitor? Prepare for it to look like a 14-year-old CRT if any premium content nears your computer. Have a nice sound system? Well, ready to hear it sound like tin cans on wires? That is, anyway, if it’s not merely disabled outright.
The paper also goes over how Microsoft’s new “features” are going to cripple the rest of the industry by requiring closed standards and such for anything to be compatible with premium content on Vista. This is a sneaky way to try to kill open source: make it so that it can’t even run on any of the new hardware, wait a few years, and bam, it’s dead. Frankly, you really have to go read the entirety of this paper to see how Microsoft is prepared to ream us all a new one. I predict massive backlash against Microsoft and either a loosening of these restrictions with patches or a majority of users simply deciding not to take the plunge. It will be a bad day, however, when new computer manufacturers exclusively sell their PCs with Vista.
This paper also points out how none of the current video cards on the market will even be able to play HD content in Vista because they all lack the “necessary” content protections. Microsoft is so focused on crippling the functionality of each and every computer, while, of course, they’re utterly unable to do anything about the real hackers out there who figure out how to decrypt this content (like muslix64, who hacked both HD-DVD and Bluray). So the normal users are going to be utterly screwed over and the hackers (who I will proudly consider myself a member of) won’t face any of the problems. Does Microsoft really expect users to put up with this?