Thursday, February 15, 2007

Something is Rotten

Another week gone by, and I thought enough bad news had come out about Windows Vista. Retail copies (how many versions again?) are reportedly selling nowhere near initial expectations (can you say Zune?) Around this time one can imagine "Wow!" followed by a dull thud as a first-time Vista user encounters User Account Control and its oh-so-welcome reminders. In the meantime, Bruce Schneier wrote for Forbes (and on his own site) on "Why Vista's DRM is Bad for You":
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. And you don't get to refuse them.
Oh boy. When one of the planet's leading crypto experts outs Vista as a DRM hairball, you have to wonder how long before the Redmond fans call him an inveterate Microsoft-basher, but don't hold your breath. The simple reality is that most computer users don't know anything other than Windows (and Internet Explorer, or IE), either because their employers force them to use IE, or because they've never tried anything else. Firefox is so much safer to use — by comparison Internet Explorer 6 was unprotected for 284 days in 2006. I'm not kidding.
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