Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Feb 2009 23:28 UTC
Editorial Does Windows 7 contain more DRM than Windows Vista? Does Windows 7 limit you from running cracked applications, and will it open the firewall specifically for applications that want to check if they're cracked or not? Does it limit the audio recording capabilities? According to a skimp and badly written post on Slashdot, it does. The Slashdot crowd tore the front page item apart - and rightfully so.
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Also noted in the Ars article
by lemur2 on Thu 19th Feb 2009 01:10 UTC
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Also noted in the Ars article:

"In particular, this means disabling high-resolution unencrypted outputs lest they be used to dump the decrypted, decoded video.

Particular complaints have been made about the polling that this requires; digital outputs must be checked every 30ms and analog ones every 150ms to ensure that no prohibited devices are attached. Although the system demands from this polling are negligible, it has nonetheless been blamed for Vista's relatively high system requirements."

My only comment here is that the OS is using the end-user's CPU resources to check if it needs to degrade the end-user's machine's capabilities. How is this in the best interests of the end user? This is a particularly interesting question for end users whose machines do not contain a HD-capable optical drive, and whose monitors are not HD monitors. How does this function serve them?

The other thing to note is that the intervals noted, 30ms and 150ms, are probably constant. On a high-performance machine, the CPU time taken out by the polling is quite small compared with the interval time of 30ms, and so the DRM polling does not tax the machine intolerably. Even so, I have heard that Vista machines when idle typically consume some 15% more CPU time than do the identical specification machines running other OSes.

But that is for a high-end machine. As one goes down the performance scale, the CPU time taken up by each poll would become longer, in proportion to the reduction in CPU grunt, but the inetrval between such polls would of course be kept the same. This means that Vista's DRM would consume even more of a percentage of the CPU's performance as the CPU performance gets less. A sort of a double-whammy effect.

This is, IMO, a significant source of the popular reports of dreadful performance of Vista. On high end machines DRM isn't a burden, but as one considers lower and lower specification machines (which after all are the type of machines that many individual consumers would buy) the double-whammy of the DRM taking up more performance, and the machines available performance being less to begin with, starts to take a very noticeable toll.

And to what end? What does an end user, and owner of a lower-end machine (but still running Vista), gain when he or she gives up this performance in order to run Vista? From the end user's perspective ... very little at all. This is especially so if they don't happen to own any HD-capable hardware ... maybe it takes the polling routine the longest time if there isn't any actual hardware there in the first place ... becuase there would be a need to check if the user hadn't installed any ...

So, in conclusion, I call "bunkum". IMO, the end users do indeed notice Vista's DRM ... they just complain about it in terms of "Vista is dog slow on my machine" rather than calling it as being due to the DRM.

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