Feeds

Windows DRM is the 'longest suicide note in history'

The bitterest pill

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Copy-protection features in Windows Vista make the operating system more bloated while giving few benefits to end users, according to a new security paper.

Peter Gutmann, a medical imaging specialist, argues in the paper that Microsoft's cumbersome approach to DRM is doomed to fail and will only succeed in pushing users towards buying faster hardware to cope with degraded performance, effectively imposing collateral damage on the rest of the industry.

Many of the criticisms Gutmann makes will be familiar to those who have followed the development of Vista's copyright protection features however his hard-hitting prose style and warning that the Vista Content Protection specs could "very well constitute the longest suicide note in history" has reinvigorated the debate.

Gutmann argues, for example, that in order lock down High Definition content, Vista limits the number of connectivity options to users. '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)," Gutmann writes in an abstract to his paper here.

Microsoft is risking annoying its customer base and users in a bid to corner the market for home distribution of premium content.

Gutmann argues that hackers will find it just as easy to bypass the content protection mechanisms of Vista as they have with other versions of the OS.

These ultimately doomed efforts will lead to a more expensive and less functional operating system for users, he argues. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?