A cost analysis of Vista content protection
Posted Dec 24, 2006 6:22 UTC (Sun) by grouch
In reply to: A cost analysis of Vista content protection
Parent article: A cost analysis of Vista content protection
I guess I just don't see how "when Vista becomes popular, open-source sound and video drivers will become an endangered species" logically follows from "device manufacturers are contractually obligated to not disclose any information that might be used to work around the fingerprinting process" even assuming the latter statement is true.
Monopoly power is a funny thing. If unchecked, it can be leveraged from the market in which the monopoly is attained to intrude into, and take over, other market segments. When a single company controls enough of a market to wield monopoly power, all others must conform to the constraints it imposes on that market or they are left to try to survive in the left-overs.
Microsoft has long used its power in the PC software market to control the PC hardware market. This is why we have such bizarre things as an 'on-off' switch which does not act like the 'on-off' switch on, for example, a lamp. (How long do you hold a lamp switch in the off position before the light goes off? Is it still drawing power after it's off?)
Try doing a search for "PC System Design Guide", with or without the quotes, and see what turns up. Try it for PC95 design guide, or PC97 hardware design guide, or PC98 system design guide, or PC99 system design guide, or PC2000 system design guide, or PC2001 system design guide.
Hardware manufacturers must design for inclusion in the monopoly or try to recoup their design and manufacturing costs by selling to the left-overs outside the MS Windows / PC market. How many can afford to reduce their market share by 80% - 90%?
Microsoft software ships pre-installed on most computers available in brick-and-mortar stores and on most computers available by mail order or by way of the Internet. With the OEM market in hand, Microsoft can dictate hardware design. Hardware manufacturers would need to take a bold gamble that MS Vista will not retain monopoly status in order for them to reject design criteria dictated by Microsoft.
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