Linked by Andrew Youll on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 13:20 UTC
Windows I recently saw a post on Neowin which said that Vista will no longer allow the use of region-free DVD drives for movie playback; I found this strange considering in some nations region-coding DVDs is illegal as it goes against consumer rights. Neowin also links against an MS developers blog, where he talks about MS lacking any region-free drives to test legacy code on, and this may lead to lack of support for those drives. So where does this leave consumers who have region-free drives? Well you'll be able to still use DVD-data discs you just wont be able to play encrypted/region-coded DVDs anymore.
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Region coding must die
by Temcat on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 13:40 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

It doesn't even have anything to do with copyright. So the worse for Vista if it says no to region-free drives - "look, Vista won't even play those DVD you legitimately bought while abroad! stay away from this OS!".

Just say no to region coding. Use hacked players and devices and OSs that allow you to do so.

Reply Score: 5

Nonsense
by RenatoRam on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 13:44 UTC
RenatoRam
Member since:
2005-11-14

These days even the standalone living room players (expecially the cheap ones) are Region Free, by default, at least here in Italy.

And like the article poster states, region coding's legal status is already shaky.

Not exactly a wise choice for MS, if you ask me (but it would not be the first, nor the last).

Reply Score: 3

RE
by Kroc on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 13:46 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

"MS lacking any Region-Free drives to test legacy code on"

How much money do they have? How hard is it to use eBay, ask about, buy an old laptop, dig through old machines.

Grief, this is about not being bothered and not even trying as an excuse.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by Andrew Youll on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE"
Andrew Youll Member since:
2005-06-29

The other thing the MS developer mentioned was that Region-Free drives are from before the year 2000, and he said that it is general concensus that DVD drives have roughly a 3yr life, and because as of 2000, all drives have hardware based regioning, it is extremely hard to come by a working drive from before the year 2000.

I personally also find this a bit hard to believe because a local comupter store still sells what it calls Region-X drives.

Reply Score: 5

RE
by Celerate on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"The other thing the MS developer mentioned was that Region-Free drives are from before the year 2000, and he said that it is general concensus that DVD drives have roughly a 3yr life, and because as of 2000, all drives have hardware based regioning, it is extremely hard to come by a working drive from before the year 2000. "

MS is spewing bullshit here, I've never EVER seen a CD or DVD drive die after just three years. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but I've still got CD drives in my computer that I've moved over from a 10 year old box and a combo drive (CD-RW/DVD-RW) that's closer to four years old without any problems. I know lots of people who have old DVD drives that still work perfectly. We all know MS has been forcing in DRM like a drug pusher, how could people not know it's just a cover story.

"I personally also find this a bit hard to believe because a local comupter store still sells what it calls Region-X drives."

And for that matter MS should easily be able to buy old stock from the manufacterers, they do have still have some stock of old hardware. And when a customer like MS goes looking for things to buy, it usually finds them.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by n4cer on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

MS is spewing bullshit here, I've never EVER seen a CD or DVD drive die after just three years. That's not to say it doesn't happen...

You are implying it doesn't happen by saying MS is "spewing bullshit". You're trying to backup a foregone conclusion based on anecdotal evidence.

I have had two DVD drives manufactured in 1999 (installed in different systems) fail in some way that warranted replacement. I've also had a CD burner go bad after a few years. It's easy to imagine that the drives in the test lab get used more often than most consumer drives and are subject to quicker failure.

And for that matter MS should easily be able to buy old stock from the manufacterers, they do have still have some stock of old hardware.

I don't think most manufacturers keep significantly old stock. There are cases where manufacturers have gone to MS to repro issues with hardware they no longer have.

And when a customer like MS goes looking for things to buy, it usually finds them.

And how long is MS expected to keep buying and supporting old hardware and devoting resources to testing scenarios which apply to an increasingly smaller number of users each day when they can instead work on scenarios that apply to a larger group? Newer drives will still be able to play content from various regions using software (and likely some firmware) methods. As already mentioned, this issue is being rehashed and overblown, and I'll add, spun with the usual conspiracy theories and FUD without any substantive claims to backup implied motives.

Edited 2006-01-02 19:45

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Celerate on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"MS is spewing bullshit here, I've never EVER seen a CD or DVD drive die after just three years. That's not to say it doesn't happen...

You are implying it doesn't happen by saying MS is "spewing bullshit". You're trying to backup a foregone conclusion based on anecdotal evidence. "


No, Microsoft's claim is that they cannot get one any more because according to them the things don't last past three years. I'm calling BS on them saying that because while some do die after three years, they most certainly don't all die after three years. With how long I've seen CD and DVD drives last, I doubt Microsoft would have any trouble getting an old DVD drive that doesn't support region codes. They are simply making excuses.

"And how long is MS expected to keep buying and supporting old hardware and devoting resources to testing scenarios which apply to an increasingly smaller number of users each day when they can instead work on scenarios that apply to a larger group?"

I didn't say they had to support old hardware, I'm just pointing out that their excuse is flawed. If they don't want to support the hardware any more that's a lot different than not supporting it on the false grounds that they cannot get that hardware any more.

"As already mentioned, this issue is being rehashed and overblown, and I'll add, spun with the usual conspiracy theories and FUD without any substantive claims to backup implied motives. "

It might have helped if you had understood what I was saying in the first place.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by sappyvcv on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

They're saying they can't find any DVD drives that are more than 3 years old? Oh really? Care to point out where?

Reply Score: 1

RE
by n4cer on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

No, Microsoft's claim is that they cannot get one any more because according to them the things don't last past three years. I'm calling BS on them saying that because while some do die after three years, they most certainly don't all die after three years. With how long I've seen CD and DVD drives last, I doubt Microsoft would have any trouble getting an old DVD drive that doesn't support region codes. They are simply making excuses.

It's an average. All drives don't have to fail within the stated period for the statement to be valid. As far as personal experience, you're again trying to support a conclusion you've already decided with anecdotal evidence. Drive failure is a YMMV situation. I've already countered your claims of longevity with three of my experiences (2 being DVD drives manufactured before 2000) that support MS' claims. Each of our personal experiences differ, but they are both too insignificant to draw meaningful conclusions that apply to the actual failure rate of DVD drives manufactured before January 1, 2000.

I didn't say they had to support old hardware, I'm just pointing out that their excuse is flawed. If they don't want to support the hardware any more that's a lot different than not supporting it on the false grounds that they cannot get that hardware any more.

Raymond Chen's post included relevant technical grounds and business concerns for no longer supporting the older drives. How do you know that what he stated (as was relayed to him by the optical storage driver team) is false? Did the driver team just lie to him? Again, you are just discounting his statements without meaningful evidence to support this.

It might have helped if you had understood what I was saying in the first place.

I understand what you're saying. You're distrustful of MS' motives, and you want them to give you a reason that fits that distrust whether or not the reason you want them to give you represents the actual facts of the situation.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Celerate on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"It's an average. All drives don't have to fail within the stated period for the statement to be valid. As far as personal experience, you're again trying to support a conclusion you've already decided with anecdotal evidence."

Yeah, so we know not all the drives will live to 3 years or more, you've said that lots of times as if it was the end all argument you were looking for. It's not.

Not all the drive fail after three years, that 3 years is an average I've never even seen before and I have never seen one DVD drive die in as little as three years before except through mistreatment, too little use or too much use. But then as I've said it does happen; however, they don't all die in that period and there are still plenty left, I can get a used RPC1 DVD drive at the local stores effortlessly. For that matter an average is not a constant for all the drives, an average is meerely the result of a mathimatical process in which all the life spans including the very short and very long are added together, and then the resulting sum is divided by the number of drives used in the research. Just because the average life span is three years according to Microsoft doesn't mean it's three years for all DVD drives. Companies keep stock on items for years after production stops, and having worked in a store I can tell you that they often lose stock and find it again years later in perfect condition and still in the box. A snowball has higher chances in hell than Microsoft has of not being able to find a new or used RPC1 DVD-Rom drive.

"Raymond Chen's post included relevant technical grounds and business concerns for no longer supporting the older drives. "

Really, I don't see a Raymond Chen anywhere in this thread, and anything beyond that goes beyond the scope of what I was talking about. I was replying to the people involved in this thread, no one else.

"How do you know that what he stated (as was relayed to him by the optical storage driver team) is false?"

I didn't say what he said was false, I didn't even read what he said. I said that Microsoft claiming they couldn't get their hands on an RPC1 DVD-Rom drive was BS.

"I understand what you're saying. You're distrustful of MS' motives, and you want them to give you a reason that fits that distrust whether or not the reason you want them to give you represents the actual facts of the situation."

That is bullshit. I simply think that what MS is saying is convenient, especially considering that they're imposing DRM on the market. I'm making an educated assessment based on their history and behaviour. You on the other hand are trying to be a gustapo over what I'm saying, you feel you must defent Microsoft and so you are harassing me for my opinion in the hopes of telling me off and probably in the hopes of becomming someone's hero. I am entitled to my opinion, you seem hell bent on arguing it with technicalities which cannot be defended either way. Oh sure, you could find articles to collaborate what you say just like I could fine articles collaborating what I've said, but averages are not constants and there's always exceptions, which in this case would be big considering the mass market for DVD players.

Don't count on any more replies, I see that you aren't willing to consider any other opinions but your own. And don't try to turn that around because I did read your posts and see where some of it is valid, but I have better things to do than argue an endless argument. Go ahead and have your last word if it pleases you, I'm a bigger person than that and I won't participate in your harassing me for having an educated opinion, whether it goes along with your views or not.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by n4cer on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

I didn't say what he said was false, I didn't even read what he said. I said that Microsoft claiming they couldn't get their hands on an RPC1 DVD-Rom drive was BS.

Here lies the main problem with your view. How can you accurately determine the validity of "what MS is saying" without even reading the original and only comment from an MS employee? Everything else is injected with people's biases about DRM or MS.


That is bullshit. I simply think that what MS is saying is convenient, especially considering that they're imposing DRM on the market. I'm making an educated assessment based on their history and behaviour. You on the other hand are trying to be a gustapo over what I'm saying, you feel you must defent Microsoft and so you are harassing me for my opinion in the hopes of telling me off and probably in the hopes of becomming someone's hero. I am entitled to my opinion, you seem hell bent on arguing it with technicalities which cannot be defended either way. Oh sure, you could find articles to collaborate what you say just like I could fine articles collaborating what I've said, but averages are not constants and there's always exceptions, which in this case would be big considering the mass market for DVD players.

I'm just stating extablished facts (and I haven't even posted any articles, so I don't know why you'd bring that up). You haven't even read the source of all the subsequent postings, yet you're making assertions based only on your and others biases. The exceptions are called outliers, and represent a minority of the group. Should I continue to support Vesa Local Bus just because there are still a few people that haven't upgraded to PCI? It's the same thing. Supporting code paths that a shrinking number of people use takes away resources from supporting current features and new features the majority will use. Upon Vista's release, the affected drives will be 6 years old at a minimum.

Re: DRM -- MS didn't impose DRM on the market. It's required for anyone wanting to support new digital media formats (and some existing ones), and is an option for anyone distributing content. Expect Apple and others to have similar support if they want to support viewing of digital cable, HD-DVD, and other new and existing formats. It's the same type of technology that is in settop boxes and will be in standalone players.

Don't count on any more replies, I see that you aren't willing to consider any other opinions but your own. And don't try to turn that around because I did read your posts and see where some of it is valid, but I have better things to do than argue an endless argument. Go ahead and have your last word if it pleases you, I'm a bigger person than that and I won't participate in your harassing me for having an educated opinion, whether it goes along with your views or not.

So, you're entitled to your opinion, but people with differing opinions aren't? How are simple replies to your posts harassment? You say you have "an educated opinion" but that clearly isn't the case if you didn't even read the source of all the resultant discussion. Do you always view differences of opinion as direct attacks? If so, why comment at all? I view this exchange as neither an attack nor an argument. If you do, I'm sorry, but that's the point of a comments section. People post differing views.

Edited 2006-01-03 16:28

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft at it again...
by Knuckles on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 14:11 UTC
Knuckles
Member since:
2005-06-29

Yay microsoft is doing it again... I am one of the proud owner of 2 microsoft sidewinder joysticks (one 3d pro, and one force feedback) and one microsoft sidewinder force feedback wheel. They didn't bother to at least update their drivers, so I wanted to give one of them to my cousin which still uses MS windows and guess what, he can't use BECAUSE THERE ARE NO WINDOWS 2K/XP DRIVERS... And yet again here is microsoft trying to do the same thing, they want us to thrash all of our things and buy them again "vista-compliant" ? WTF? New drm monitor, new wgf graphics card, new drm dvd/hddvd, what's next?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Microsoft at it again...
by Shoky on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 14:28 UTC in reply to "Microsoft at it again..."
Shoky Member since:
2006-01-02

I totaly agree.

Even worse, have You ever tried to install Windows XP 64 bit edition and add drivers for MS Office keyboard/mouse. NO?
Of course not, THERE ARE NO WINDOWS XP 64 DRIVERS FOR MS PRODUCTS

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Microsoft at it again...
by CPUGuy on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft at it again..."
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

They also don't support that keyboard anymore.

When I formatted one of my systems that uses this keyboard I had to search on the net for an older version of the Intellitype software, as support has litterally been removed from the latest versions (makes absolutely no sense at all).

Reply Score: 0

RE: Microsoft at it again...
by jtrapp on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 15:53 UTC in reply to "Microsoft at it again..."
jtrapp Member since:
2005-07-06

How old are these joysticks? I have a sidewinder that was problematic at best on Win 98 (even with the included driver) but it has worked flawlessly on Win 2k and XP without an additional driver. Just curious....

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Microsoft at it again...
by JrezIN on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 17:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft at it again..."
JrezIN Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah, I have a Sidewinder joypad for so many years too! Worked flawless... Still working, I just don't have a Joy port anymore in my latest motherboard... I'll probably get a wired Xbox360 joypad (standard USB, Xcontroller standard support) for my computer for my emulation and action-adventure needs...

But the problem with x64 drivers are big for any vendor... Logitech just recently came up with drivers for these plataform (that's a big shame!)... Microsoft is responsible for so many common drivers in this plataform, too sad they have to choose what products of their own to support too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Microsoft at it again...
by Timerever on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft at it again..."
Timerever Member since:
2005-07-06

XBox 360 wired? You wish! The MS drivers don't include rumble support for DirectInput! It's true! They don't support their own API, instead they are forcing XInput part of XNA, a new XBox360/PC cross platform API to fill XBox 360 will PC ports.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Microsoft at it again...
by Bending Unit on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 18:10 UTC in reply to "Microsoft at it again..."
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

The wheel works with W2K/XP. I know, I have one myself.

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft sober
by happycamper on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 14:21 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

I'm glad, I stop using Windows along time ago.

Reply Score: 1

:)
by ArKay on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 14:23 UTC
ArKay
Member since:
2005-07-13

Simply don't use Vista until you are ready to buy a new computer (or upgrade your equipment). At least that's what I will do, Vista being the first Windows OS I am _not_ looking forward to put on this PC. Windows XP is stable enough for my needs and Vista doesn't offer anything exciting enough for installation on my current system--I guess it would be too slow and waste too many resources, so why bother?

Reply Score: 2

Things die too soon
by elmimmo on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 14:26 UTC
elmimmo
Member since:
2005-09-17

The blog post brings an interesting side-subject:
"And since the average drive lifetime is only three years"

While I see that as the hard truth with todays drives, I wonder how it is that my first Audio CD player, Toshiba branded, which now ages around 16 years, works without a hiccup.

Manufacturers are lowering the quality of components so that they have a deliberate dying date (I mean, I do not expect all my electronic equipment to last 16 years, but more than 5, definitely -which is starting to sound like an eternity for things such as DVD-ROMS, dvd standalone players, videogame consoles, etc-)

Give me a drive that will cost me 100 instead of 30 and has a guaranteed lifetime of 10 years, and I will skip the cheap one.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Things die too soon
by JLF65 on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 18:20 UTC in reply to "Things die too soon"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

While I see that as the hard truth with todays drives, I wonder how it is that my first Audio CD player, Toshiba branded, which now ages around 16 years, works without a hiccup.

Yes, but that CD player works at 1x, not 52x, and cost more than your entire computer. Besides, a shorter lifespan is not always true. CD/DVD writers last FAR longer than they used to. My first CD writer lasted almost six months, and that was the average for those drives at the time (4X CD writer). New writers last much longer.

Reply Score: 1

More anti-compliance with hardware
by DKR on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 14:45 UTC
DKR
Member since:
2005-08-22

They always pull something like this!

MS: Stop muscling people around!

Reply Score: 1

ProtoCat
Member since:
2006-01-02

This is a rather old post on Old New Thing that someone has decided to unearth and kick a fuss up over, but if you actually sat down, knew how DVD region coding works and what the implications of this change were you'd realize it really isn't that big of a deal.

All that's being depreciated from their generic driver code is support for old drives that haven't been made for *six years* now that required the region check to be done in software. Does this have anything to do with region free drives? No, it doesn't. If you aren't downgrading your drive to this crippled state (RPC-1) requiring the OS and the software to do region coding check for you -- then this isn't going to effect you.

If you have a current patched firmware (Not all firmware patches out there force a drive back to RPC-1), Vista isn't going to know, much less care, because the firmware says it's Region 0 and Vista isn't really involved with doing checks for the drive. However, you don't even need to do *THAT*. Region coding does ZERO to prevent you from reading data from the drive. ZERO. You can pop any disc into most unpatched DVD drives and you can STILL read the contents of the disc -- this is where DeCSS comes in and any *nix DVD player such as VLC and MPlayer or dubious DVD players such as DVD X Player.

All those players need to do is not bother checking region and go straight to decrypting. Vista is doing nothing to prevent that. The only change now is older drives prior to 2000 are no longer being supported in order to curb bug issues and additional work for an increasingly smaller set of people -- maybe it's a misdirection to cut off RPC-1 holes, but it still isn't preventing me from using VLC or the like. Given how much legacy support work Raymond and others have put into Windows in general, really this is straw-grasping to be irked because they're dropping support for something that most people, including those playing whatever imported DVD, aren't going to notice.

By the way, this was written on a Mac, my preferred platform -- Which drops support for entire computers around six years old. I'm hardly a Windows apologist (though I do use it), I just happen to like Raymond's blog an awful lot. Ya'll should subscribe to it, since he's a very smart guy.

Reply Score: 5

JrezIN Member since:
2005-06-29

Thanks for clearing up!

Actually, it's not news the Vista won't support a lot of legacy driver support... especially for software controled/emulated by drivers (like those cheap printers with poor drivers that use a lot of computing resources for simple tasks...). It's good since it'll boost the overall system stability.

#

The sad part is how many news sites reported this like a "evil microsoft conspiracy"... it's getting boring, can't we chance the nemesis sometime? Even rock/megaman games changed the final "boss" after a while... (yeah, it's joke).

The funny part is that almost all the places that I've seen this news like these, there're comments clearing up the subject... that's the good part of the colaborative internet... comments are good! =]

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Jeeeb on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 15:30 UTC
Jeeeb
Member since:
2005-11-12

^^^ Thankyou ^^^

MS has said they won't support DVD drives with software region coding. All new (and 99% of old drives) with or without region coding will work because they all do it in their hardware ;) .

Reply Score: 2

Cry havoc...
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 17:57 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

and let loose the trolls of OSnews, armed with MS-hatred and illiteracy!

Browser: ELinks/0.11rc0 (textmode; Darwin 8.3.0 Power Macintosh; 80x40-3)

Reply Score: 0

What about the Winmodem crap?
by Edward on Mon 2nd Jan 2006 18:05 UTC
Edward
Member since:
2005-09-17

Will that go away cause I had to get a externsl modem for linux.

Reply Score: 0

Will I say no to Vista?
by ApproachingZero on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 02:27 UTC
ApproachingZero
Member since:
2005-11-10

Most definitely. I haven't been this bored by an OS release since I got into computing in 1994. Nothing in the screenshots or feature list makes me think, "wow, that's cool" or "neat, that's so much better than OS X". Nothing. There's just plain nothing there. It's Windows XP with a better default theme. Oooh.

Reply Score: 0

linuxispoo...
by vecchio on Tue 3rd Jan 2006 02:28 UTC
vecchio
Member since:
2005-07-06

...where are you now?

Reply Score: 1