Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 17:36 UTC, submitted by PR
Windows "Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called 'premium content', typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry."
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bad
by JernejL on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 18:39 UTC
JernejL
Member since:
2006-03-15

This sounds pretty bad, but we are once again forced into it. the only real solution to this is, to suggest everybody you know, to buy XP instead vista. In vista, video and audio will be degraded, older games and programs will not work, it will be less reliable, slower, more expensive.

Reply Score: 5

RE: bad
by trenchsol on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 18:47 UTC in reply to "bad"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Win2k are still supported until 2010. They have very low requirements for todays standard. I think that SP4 makes them compatibile with most new software. That is even better choice.

DG

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: bad
by Kroc on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE: bad"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Sure it's 'supported' until 2010, but software chooses to make itself incompatible because developers are not testing on Win 2K. As from an article before; the Zune & Windows Defender installer block Win2K, despite the software itself works.

Millions of new Dells are going to come with Vista on them. Developers are eventually not going to bother to remove Vista to put XP on it, and I can see Win XP support going down hill faster than most would be comfortable with.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: bad
by looncraz on Sun 24th Dec 2006 05:23 UTC in reply to "RE: bad"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

In reality, the only choice is for EVERYONE ***RIGHT NOW*** to start migrating AWAY from Microsoft products, and products that only work with Windows.

This is ESSENTIAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF OUR WORLD! Everything about us today is stored on Windows machines, for the most part. Our social security #s ( or whatever # your government may have turned you into ), bank information ( and balances ), EVERYTHING.

If this continues with a single system being so dominate as to FORCE hardware vendors to create their devices to a specific overly-complex closed-source, patented, and EXPENSIVE paradigm, we will have no choice but to defend technology ( and our future ) by mass-migrating Windows-based information onto other systems. Microsoft, of course, is working to prevent this with every ounce of muscle they have to spoof the issue as feature.

Unfortunately, this means the U.S. government will have to step up and do something. And it also means that people need to find a way to not be bought out by Microsoft. Of course, that isn't likely. And the U.S. governmental system is amongst the DUMBEST in the world, thanks to the limiting to a virtual 2-party system ( which prevents repairs to the system from ever occurring ).

Oh well, thankfully we can still hack the software up to pieces, reverse it, emulate certain must-haves, and then make the content work without MS interference... but that takes effort and time for each specific device or file format.

Which is an impossible feat, now. There are many millions(likely billions) of different devices and device variants, and there can be, literally, an infinite number of file formats. Meaning only one company in the world has the ability to do ANYTHING.. Microsoft.

I thought I managed to avoid Microsoft's influence on me ( and so long as I never have a hardware failure, I have ), but it seems that they have managed to hit me in the one place at which I can't respond... the hardware.

Writing a device driver for a closed-spec device is hard enough ( hell it's too hard to write a driver WITH specs, these days ), but adding in all of this encryption and other overhead to the hardware means my system will now be required to run on a Microsoft designed machine.

The only thing we can hope for, is that few hardware vendors play into the Vista thing. It certainly will be overly expensive for the smaller players ( who could face going out of business because of it ).

And what is to happen to Linux, Haiku, and the other operating systems ( which are mostly free and open sourced ), which do not have the resources to create a driver to operate on the latest MS processors ( made by Intel and others ), which require 2048-bit strong encryption for each instruction ( or data ) passed to the CPU.

I can understand the use for the technology, just not for general purpose computing. In that environment, it is the worst possible thing to occur! The idea of general purpose computing is to have a single machine that can be programmed to do anything you want it to do. Even if that includes having it not run Windows.

Microsoft is going to turn the PC industry into the Windows industry. And they aren't really hiding their intentions ( remember all of the "Windows on every PC" mantra of Microsoft's ???? ).

--The loon

EDIT: Some things for clarity.

Edited 2006-12-24 05:27

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: bad
by Andre on Sun 24th Dec 2006 11:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: bad"
Andre Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, everyone should move away from microsoft indeed.
But easier said then done,
My school's wireless network for example.
It uses some non-standard-microsoft-encryption
and you need Windows to be allowed on it.

And think about, if Microsoft does that all,
and one day, Microsoft will be gone, then the world is screwed. Even Microsoft doesn't live forever. The sooner they are gone, the better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: bad
by hemantm on Tue 26th Dec 2006 10:34 UTC in reply to "bad"
hemantm Member since:
2005-08-01

People also have options to use non Microsoft OSes like Linux, FreeBSD, Open Solaris .............. However, the FUD craeted by MS leaves people nowhere.

Reply Score: 1

serious drawbacks
by trenchsol on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 18:43 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

Theese are serious drawbacks. I am pretty sure that there are better ways to protect content. I am pretty sure that whatever comes from Microsoft after Vista would have to be something completely different.

According to the specifications on Microsoft site, "2003 R2" server requires 128 MB RAM and 90 or 133 MHz CPU to work. They are supposed to be the same code base. What could be the reason of such performance gap ? Where have all those mergabytes and megahertzs gone ?

How does Mac handle the protected content ?

DG

Reply Score: 3

RE: serious drawbacks
by Kroc on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "serious drawbacks"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"How does Mac handle the protected content ?"

It doesn't at the moment. Maybe Apple will bake Bluray/HDDVD support into Leopard. The truth is that Microsoft can really scew Apple (and Linux) over by using Vista's complicated protection to produce content that only works on Vista - and with the support of industry giants (RIAA et al), Microsoft can claim that these are not monopoly tactics, as it is protection against piracy, backed up by the RIAA. That alone will delay the European courts long enough for Vista to take hold. Microsoft can then charge anything they please to licence the DRM support to Apple (who are rolling in cash right now)

Honestly, the next five to ten years looks really bleak for consumers. It will take the loss of an incredibly historically important piece of media, due to DRM and proprietry technologies before the general public, and government even begin to understand the downsides of DRM.

Reply Score: 5

RE: serious drawbacks
by alcibiades on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 19:02 UTC in reply to "serious drawbacks"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

"How does Mac handle the protected content ?"

Apple will implement the standard. If you play the wrong kind of media, your Mac will degrade like your Vista machine.

But then, you'll be able to buy all the content you can have any legitimate use for, from the iMedia store. So your Mac should never degrade. Everything should be fine.

Reply Score: 2

This is a wonderful must read piece
by alcibiades on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 18:46 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

This is a truly wonderful and must-read piece. It clearly shows that DRM, and the associated issues of vendor lock-ins and proprietary formats, go way beyond IT; they are really fundamental issues about preserving our way of life in the digital era.

The basic agenda of the content industry, which is being achieved with the collusion of the two commercial OS vendors, is to take control of the desktop PC away from the buyer/user, and put it into the hands of the content supplier/OS supplier.

The problem is, the price we will all pay for this is in two categories. In financial terms, the costs this will impose on society because of crippled PCs will be astronomical. In constitutional terms, our ability to do what we will with content we have bought and PCs we have bought, will allow all kinds of limitations of access to information which are incompatible with functioning democracy as we have known it.

The article, by concrete examples, makes this wondefully clear. The thing the author does not point out is that only the US and some European countries are going to cripple themselves like this. China will not, of that you can be sure. China, remember, is where the PCs are all made. So the endgame of all this kowtowing to content providers is really serious competitive disadvantage for any company operating in the jurisdictions where their whims have been crystalized into legal standards for OS and hardware.

I do believe content producers should be paid for their work. Perhaps locking and encryption are legitimate ways of ensuring this happens. But crippling everyone's computer in pursuit of enforcing this, as the article demonstrates, is like solving the problem of drink driving by prohibition. The costs exceed the benefits by a factor of thousands, and the costs fall on all, while the benefits accrue to a very few indeed.

Reply Score: 5

eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

The linked "article" makes a mountain out of a molehill, as does virtually every anti-protection piece I've seen going back to Stallman's failed crusade against passwords.

I do believe content producers should be paid for their work. Perhaps locking and encryption are legitimate ways of ensuring this happens. But crippling everyone's computer in pursuit of enforcing this, as the article demonstrates, is like solving the problem of drink driving by prohibition. The costs exceed the benefits by a factor of thousands, and the costs fall on all, while the benefits accrue to a very few indeed.

There's no "crippling" going on.

The author's complaints fall into two categories:
1. Encryption has a performance overhead
2. Playing protected content along an unprotected content stream affects other currently playing content (unprotected or not)

It's certainly true that decryption has a performance overhead. However, in practice, the overhead is negligible for most systems. Playing back iTunes DRM-protected AAC files does use more CPU cycles than playing back unprotected AAC files, for example, but not so much that millions of iTunes users have noticed, yet alone complained: the difference is less than 1% on older machines. This is even less important in the situations the author describes--any computer outfitted with a Blu-Ray/HD-DVD drive is going to have power to spare. I suppose that if one were to retrofit a Pentium III with a Blu-Ray player, this might prove to be an issue, but it will not affect the vast majority of users.

2. The second point, likewise, is overblown. The author uses the unlikely example of doing high-precision medical-imaging while watching a Blu-Ray HDCP-protected disk on a dated, non-HDMI device. Again, the situation is unlikely to arise in practice.

Tangential to all this is the price of the physical components used in the technology. Certainly HDMI-devices cost more than not HDMI-devices, all things being equal, but not excessively so (on the order of pennies). If ATi or NVIDIA use HDMI as an excuse to bilk early adopters, that's all it is: an excuse.

Given that no Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disks currently require HDCP--and won't for several years--the whole "issue" is moot. By the time HDCP is necessary, HDCP will already be present on the vast majority of applicable hardware.

Reply Score: 5

kaworu1986 Member since:
2006-06-24

@eMagius: While I am not by any means a computing expert, I believe you are underestimating the issue.
The overhead described in the paper is several orders of magnitude greater than the decrypting of protected AAC files in iTunes: we are talking multiple encryption/decryption cycles within the path from the disk to the display, as well as a serie of device pollings.
The bits about driver revocation and tilt-bits, which you have ignored, are also scary to say the least: if an exploit is found the corresponding software or hardware component could be remotely disabled, without the legitimate owner of the system having any choice.
We are not only talking about losing access to one's media collection, we are talking about losing system functionalities not only related to protected media usage (having your video card only output in VGA affects more than just your ability to watch movies) through no fault of our own.

Reply Score: 5

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Yes, kaworu is right, this is exactly the point. All computers will come with the 'features' of driver revocation and tilt bits, whose use is tied to the 'wrong' use of content. All computers. It is a cost we will all pay. Whether we want the ability to access 'premium' content or not. Or maybe it will be the use of 'the wrong' content that will trigger driver revocation and tilt bits?

20 years ago the arena was freedom of public speech and the press. The importance of computers nowadays as information access portals, rapidly becoming the main ones and displacing print media, means that the arena is now getting and keeping the freedom to use and manage ones gateway to information.

It is this general use of computers for all access to information of all sorts that makes it so wrong to impose restrictions on all computers, in the name of preserving the rights, or rather rents, of a small number of people who deliver a tiny fraction of the information they are used to access.

Reply Score: 4

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//All computers will come with the 'features' of driver revocation and tilt bits, whose use is tied to the 'wrong' use of content. All computers. It is a cost we will all pay.//

I doubt it very much.

I will not buy any hardware that is labelled as "Vista Ready" and which therefore has these DRM-compliant deliberate time bombs built into the hardware itself.

I will buy hardware from China or Taiwan or somewhere with a Linux BIOS and zero DRM chips, and happily run Linux on it, and have a far, far more powerfull and capable desktop solution at a fraction of the cost as a result.

What sane person wouldn't do this?

Edited 2006-12-26 03:18

Reply Score: 3

So, people is paying for...
by eantoranz on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 19:10 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

Basically people end up paying companies so that people themselves get bugged to death because content providers assume people are gilty of content copying by default? I bet Paul Murphy won't be writing about this in his blogs and advertisements... er, I mean, Analysis.

Reply Score: 1

Quite simple, really
by CPUGuy on Sun 24th Dec 2006 00:41 UTC
CPUGuy
Member since:
2005-07-06

It really is quite simple, either Microsoft supports the content protection which allows the ability to play HD-DVD and Blue-ray, or not support and have no support for these technologies.

Seriously, you all need to get a grip, you are getting into a huff because it is Microsoft, not because of the DRM, when in reality, this isn't Microsoft's doing (at least not if they want their users to be able to use these technologies).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Quite simple, really
by trenchsol on Sun 24th Dec 2006 12:06 UTC in reply to "Quite simple, really"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I am not anti-Microsoft, I don't like FSF and Linux community in general, and I don't use Linux.

But, the idea of seriously degrading hardware does not sound good to me.

Is it absolutely the only way of supporting HD-DVD and Blue-Ray ?

I am not concerned with the loss of, so called, "GNU/Freedom", but the price payed with hardware degradation might be to high for me. I need computer for other things, not just for fun.

If it is absolutely the only way, maybe personal computers are not suitable devices for playing Blue-Ray
and HD-DVD ?

DG

Reply Score: 2

RE: Quite simple, really
by Gooberslot on Sun 24th Dec 2006 22:27 UTC in reply to "Quite simple, really"
Gooberslot Member since:
2006-08-02

Yes it is MS's fault. I'd rather have no ability to play "premium" content that have draconian DRM infested through my OS. Besides if MS and the electronic manufacturers got together and said no to the **AA then there's really nothing the **AA could do about it. For whatever reason MS wants this.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Quite simple, really
by CPUGuy on Sun 24th Dec 2006 23:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Quite simple, really"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh yes, because Microsoft just wants to arbitrarily limit its customers just because.


Would you be serious?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Quite simple, really
by moltonel on Mon 25th Dec 2006 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Quite simple, really"
moltonel Member since:
2006-02-24

It's the content providers' fault for requesting that level of paranoiac protection in the first place. But Microsoft was very happy to provide this for two reasons :
* Strong customer lock-in. Apple will certainly follow if needed (when protected content becomes mainstream), but would have to licence MS technology. On the other hand, FLOSS cannot sanely implement the full TCPA stack required.
* Forced hardware upgrade. Meaning more OEM Windows sales.

The hardware manufacturer are just doing what they're told. Pleasing MS and not having one less "feature" than the opponent is a must, forcing customers to upgrade is a nice bonus.


Note that all this awfull technology is now in the content providers' hands, who will decide how much content will be subject to the restriction.
I still (naively ?) hope that consumers will object strongly enough (boycot) to such restricted content, that content providers will give up the idea. Then the "only" price we'd have paid is the big waste of R&D and the hardware upgrades.

Reply Score: 1

Excellent article
by siki_miki on Sun 24th Dec 2006 01:38 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

One big worry is that manufacturers will be forbidden to reveal device programming model in public. I am certain that this requirement exists partially to aggravate driver problem of Linux, as I don't believe they need functionallity checks to verify device, asymmetric AES authentication with private key stored in hardware(=unreadable) should be enough to detect tampering.

I'm just waiting for Microsoft to blackmail (sue) e.g. Intel to stop releasing code/info on their graphic chips. I am sure that EU or even U.S. courts will be eager to crush them on this, but more seriously this time.

Reply Score: 1

Oh please ;)
by ubit on Sun 24th Dec 2006 03:10 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

"
It really is quite simple, either Microsoft supports the content protection which allows the ability to play HD-DVD and Blue-ray, or not support and have no support for these technologies.

Seriously, you all need to get a grip, you are getting into a huff because it is Microsoft, not because of the DRM, when in reality, this isn't Microsoft's doing (at least not if they want their users to be able to use these technologies).
"
Yes, it is MS's doing. I don't know who's bigger, MS or *IAA, yet it's part of the standards councils for several forms of next-gen media. You see the bending over in many forms in Vista, cablecard gets no love, etc.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Oh please ;)
by WorknMan on Sun 24th Dec 2006 06:08 UTC in reply to "Oh please ;)"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Yes, it is MS's doing. I don't know who's bigger, MS or *IAA, yet it's part of the standards councils for several forms of next-gen media. You see the bending over in many forms in Vista, cablecard gets no love, etc.

As somebody else has pointed out, this HDCP thing will be supported in Mac OSX eventually, and I'm willing to bet that some commercially-oriented flavors of Linux will support it too.

I would say that if you have a problem with HDCP, you should aim your venom at the content owners, not at Microsoft, Apple, and other vendors who choose to give you the option to play this content on their devices/operating systems.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Oh please ;)
by gilboa on Sun 24th Dec 2006 17:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh please ;)"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

... You all seem to ignore the simple fact the MS has a vested interest in DRM technologies. (WGA anyone?)
More-ever, if Microsoft would have chosen to put its foot down and decided to drop DRM support, I doubt that RIAA and the rest of the content Mafia would have risked an open war with MS.

Simply put - Microsoft wanted DRM deep inside Vista simply because "trusted computing" suites their long-term goals.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

I would never allow this
by Ford Prefect on Sun 24th Dec 2006 12:27 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

As a user or customer, I would never allow the described techniques to be done to me or my system. This is just too crazy.

Sadly enough, even as I am not customer, I am still affected (see the part about closed specs).

And over all, what is done here, is just silly! I would just shout "Idiots!" at the people who invented this. But they seem to be clever enough to be able to force their crap on their own customers! Microsoft, btw, could have just said "no". But there seem to be some benefits to MS, too...

Reply Score: 4

It all comes down to trusted computing
by ubit on Sun 24th Dec 2006 12:57 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

that will be the magic bullet of DRM, though which way it will go I don't know. But billions are invested in making it succeed.

WorknMan: I have to laugh at you calling this "venom" though. As if renting the media that resides on your system is really just love and sweetness. Protected Paths are a way to suck more money out of you. If you like that, fine, I'll stick with DVDs I own . I am sure MS is benefitting from this deal with more lock-in, kist as Apple does with its AAC lockin to itunes.

"As a user or customer, I would never allow the described techniques to be done to me or my system. This is just too crazy.
"

You might want to look at the CableLabs spec MS is following as well. That is the true definition of insanity in my mind, you can't copy the files anywhere, not even to another computer on your network to view them.

But of course you can stream them to your MS extender like an Xbox 360 (but not v1 extenders because they're locked out of Vista MCE)! How kind.

Edited 2006-12-24 13:03

Reply Score: 2

My question?
by Windows Sucks on Sun 24th Dec 2006 13:23 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

Are these technical reasons why you have these issues or are the issues the result of DRM?

If there are technical issues that would stop you from using Blue Ray and HD-DVD then MS has to do what it has to do to make it work. But if it's just because the content companies or companies that make Blue Ray andd HD-DVD drives want all these extra layers then we have an issue. We KNOW that MS runs the show and I am SURE that its' more important for the guys who make the drives and content to have access to Windows then it is for MS to havee access to the content and drives.

BUTTTTTT! MS is making tons of money from DRM. Also MS wants to go up against Apple with the Zune and wants to get the best prices for content! If they show they are controling their OS when it comes to media etc then I am sure the content companies will hook MS up.

Reply Score: 1

RE: My question?
by Ford Prefect on Sun 24th Dec 2006 15:17 UTC in reply to "My question?"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

If you would have read the article, you would know that there are no technical reasons for deactivating specific output channels or software blurring your video signal..


Today, if you want a region free DVD player, you just have to type some numbers on your remote control...

I guess it will be no problem to copy HDDVD content or use it not within the specs; only not with windows but with cheap media players from asia.

Reply Score: 2

matthekc
Member since:
2006-10-28

the first and foremost is the outright theft of content this will cause. briefly consider what precentage of people won't be able to afford new shiny computers or blue ray/hdvd players plus then the new movie format more exprensive of course. this could increase the demand for ripped content.
the increase in vista hardware cost could make lowcost linux hardware more appealing to consumers
and i have one question how do all the vista certified computers sold work with all this protection they don't have the special hardware i've read about

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Quite simple, really
by ubit on Mon 25th Dec 2006 03:20 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

"
Oh yes, because Microsoft just wants to arbitrarily limit its customers just because.
"

Windows activation, wga? Of course the reason isn't "just because" though as others have posted in this thread

"
Would you be serious?
"

Intel, MS, IBM and Apple are all very serious about this

Reply Score: 2