Feeds

Windows DRM is the 'longest suicide note in history'

The bitterest pill

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.