"A cost analysis of Vista content protection"

shihonage wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

I log in to read about what games GWJ'ers got for the holidays from Greece and I see this ridiculous thread. oh wow.. another FUD thread about Vista what else is new.

Protecting HD content is less a fault of Microsoft and more a fault of the Content Makers.. blame them for the ridiculous amount of DRM that has been shipped in Vista.. and while your at it.. blame the Cable Co's and their millions of dollars spent in lobbying to keep Cable Cards out of PC's.. oh wait.. I guess thats probably Microsofts fault also? right?

Speculating that this DRM will somehow cripple any content MS deems "Protected" is classic FUD. In the end.. in 4 years time when VISTA has basically become the defacto there wont be a single Video Card or Monitor made that isnt HDCP ready.. so for Joe Consumer they simply wont give a rats ass.

The choice to allow for "HD" playback in Vista in the first place at the expense of severely bloating the Operating System was Microsoft's decision, no one elses.

Who wants to watch HD content on their monitor anyway ? Anyone who is interested in HD is going to use neither a monitor nor an old tube TV. They will use a widescreen TV, connected to either a dedicated player (in 4 years you mention, those players will cost 50 bucks) or an Xbox console. None of the HD-related obesity needs to exist in a general purpose Operating System, which is what Vista is.

oh wow.. how wrong.

First of all Vista isnt "bloated" thats simply your personal slant on it.. running it on decent mid level PC (AMD 3800+) hardware its just as fast or faster than XP on that same machine.. in fact its time to desktop was a full 23 seconds faster than on a similar clean XP build...and this with still beta ATI Video Drivers and beta Soundblaster drivers. Your so called bloatware is equally as fast running Office 2007 if not faster in many ways. Even some non PC tech types in my office when first encountering Vista was to say "wow this is so much faster than XP" Do you have something to back up this claim of "bloat" other than lines of code which frankly dont mean sh*t.

Second naturally Microsoft has to support HD content playback in their OS.. they've had some success with Windows MCE and would of course choose to continue down that path with Vista.. so not offering BluRay and HD-DVD content playback in an HTPC would be market suicide...good thing your not running Microsoft.

That "article" was pure FUD and completely innacurate in a few ways.. the FUD spread on medical "issues" that will arise from Vista was laughable at best.. remember folks.. playing back HD-DVD's and Bluray is hardly a function of medical equipment.. and lets face it.. as I said before in a short time every single LCD and Videocard will be HDCP enabled so this whole "fear" of downgraded image quality will be completely transparent to the end user.. in fact it simply wont exist. There isnt a single FACT in that article that will actually happen in the real world.

NemesisZero wrote:

Welcome back, GG.

I frankly don't give a damn about who is responsible for the DRM. It is installed in a product called "Windows Vista", this product and its features are what I'm concerned about. Whether that product is created by Apple, Microsoft, IBM, or the Vatican is only meaningful in so far as it dictates where I am to look for alternatives.

[Edited for grammar.]

well yes and no.. you think the content holders will be more generous with say Linux? Apple? sure in some ways Microsoft has a lot to learn and some of their DRM issues may be internal more so than external. (case in point purchasing Xbox 360 TV content and not being able to transfer said content to a Zune is moronic) But who is to say that its simply Microsoft being late to the party and being forced to accept less than beneficial deals to get that content on their platform.

TheGameguru wrote:

in fact its time to desktop was a full 23 seconds faster than on a similar clean XP build

Just curious, how long did this machine take to boot XP? Mine takes less than 23 seconds after filling up my first hard drive and adding a second Sata drive, and my machine is just an Athlon 64 3000 with a 1 GB of value ram.

When I first installed XP, I seem to remember my machine taking around 10 seconds to get into XP. Though that was a fresh install on a 10k RPM Raptor, I would think it wouldn't be too out of the ordinary. Unless Vista is booting in under 5 seconds, I don't see how it could be booting 23 seconds faster than a clean install of XP on any of today's hardware. That is just speaking from years of PC building/OS installing/Programming/PC Gaming experience...I could be wrong though!

Edit:
________
I'm still looking for some good comparisons of XP vs Vista, so far it seems like there isn't going to be a performance increase (except in multitasking) if you are using the same hardware when you switch to Vista, and if you don't have enough RAM, decent video card, and somewhat recent CPU you may see a slight performance decrease...at least that is what this article from yesterday appears to indicate: http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/2006...

This article from October shows about the same thing, unless you are playing Serious Sam 2, you will see a performance decrease in Vista gaming: http://www.theinquirer.net/default.a...

I've really not been keeping up with Vista Beta releases so I don't know what recent improvements have been made. I also know that the drivers for it are not perfect yet, so I can understand it not performing as well as XP for now. I don't plan on upgrading my PC for a bit longer, so I will probably just watch what happens with Vista when it is released and decide whether it is worth switching or not.

shihonage wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

I log in to read about what games GWJ'ers got for the holidays from Greece and I see this ridiculous thread. oh wow.. another FUD thread about Vista what else is new.

Protecting HD content is less a fault of Microsoft and more a fault of the Content Makers.. blame them for the ridiculous amount of DRM that has been shipped in Vista.. and while your at it.. blame the Cable Co's and their millions of dollars spent in lobbying to keep Cable Cards out of PC's.. oh wait.. I guess thats probably Microsofts fault also? right?

Speculating that this DRM will somehow cripple any content MS deems "Protected" is classic FUD. In the end.. in 4 years time when VISTA has basically become the defacto there wont be a single Video Card or Monitor made that isnt HDCP ready.. so for Joe Consumer they simply wont give a rats ass.

The choice to allow for "HD" playback in Vista in the first place at the expense of severely bloating the Operating System was Microsoft's decision, no one elses.

Who wants to watch HD content on their monitor anyway ? Anyone who is interested in HD is going to use neither a monitor nor an old tube TV. They will use a widescreen TV, connected to either a dedicated player (in 4 years you mention, those players will cost 50 bucks) or an Xbox console. None of the HD-related obesity needs to exist in a general purpose Operating System, which is what Vista is.

People like myself who went through high school and college with only their PC and no TV. Everything I did wen't through my monitor, either through a video capture card (Thanks GameGuru!) or through my more recent Dell monitor that has other inputs. Granted the majority of this demographic will bootleg the content anyways to run it sans DRM on their PC anyways.

Tobyus wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

in fact its time to desktop was a full 23 seconds faster than on a similar clean XP build

Just curious, how long did this machine take to boot XP? Mine takes less than 23 seconds after filling up my first hard drive and adding a second Sata drive, and my machine is just an Athlon 64 3000 with a 1 GB of value ram.

When I first installed XP, I seem to remember my machine taking around 10 seconds to get into XP. Though that was a fresh install on a 10k RPM Raptor, I would think it wouldn't be too out of the ordinary. Unless Vista is booting in under 5 seconds, I don't see how it could be booting 23 seconds faster than a clean install of XP on any of today's hardware. That is just speaking from years of PC building/OS installing/Programming/PC Gaming experience...I could be wrong though!

typo..should be 2-3 seconds faster

I've heard that Vista compatible Motherboards are supposed to have a certain amount of flash memory (or eeprom, or whatever the doesn't-need-a-power-source-to-save-memory memory is) built in on the board to store all the load-up items, thus a speedy boot. Sounds like a good idea to me, especially with as cheap as memory has become these days.

TheWalt wrote:

I've heard that Vista compatible Motherboards are supposed to have a certain amount of flash memory (or eeprom, or whatever the doesn't-need-a-power-source-to-save-memory memory is) built in on the board to store all the load-up items, thus a speedy boot. Sounds like a good idea to me, especially with as cheap as memory has become these days.

not sure about that but Vista does support the new Hard Drives that have Flash Ram that acts as a "cache" which will boost OS performance significantly

TheGameguru wrote:

typo..should be 2-3 seconds faster

Ahhh, ok! That sounds more realistic.

GG, you're missing the fundamental problem: you don't own the computer anymore, and the 'tilt bits' will make your system less stable, and will disable your ability to tinker with your own hardware.

It also locks out other operating systems, because publishers now have to design their hardware to be hard to hack... and they're not allowed to publish details of how it works. So it will be very, very difficult to get free drivers for ANYTHING, not just video cards like now.

You may not mind being enslaved by your operating system, allowed to run only Vista because that's the only operating system with drivers. You may not mind being told that there are some bits you're not allowed to copy with your own hardware. You may not mind being forced to perpetual 'user' status, forever locked into "Mother, may I?" whenever you want to do something with your computer.

That's not true of all of us.

I don't want to contribute much to this thread, but I will say it again: DRM, etc. will only annoy legitimate users - they CANNOT stop the hackers and pirates.

Malor wrote:

GG, you're missing the fundamental problem: you don't own the computer anymore, and the 'tilt bits' will make your system less stable, and will disable your ability to tinker with your own hardware.

It also locks out other operating systems, because publishers now have to design their hardware to be hard to hack... and they're not allowed to publish details of how it works. So it will be very, very difficult to get free drivers for ANYTHING, not just video cards like now.

You may not mind being enslaved by your operating system, allowed to run only Vista because that's the only operating system with drivers. You may not mind being told that there are some bits you're not allowed to copy with your own hardware. You may not mind being forced to perpetual 'user' status, forever locked into "Mother, may I?" whenever you want to do something with your computer.

That's not true of all of us.

nahh.. I'm simply not that paranoid or honestly can muster the effort to care that much. As a man of the people I find it hard to believe that most people will even notice any difference between XP and Vista. Will it run programs like before? yep.. will it play games? yep.. send emails.. surf the web? watch DVD's yep yep..yep.. case closed..

All the other stuff is primarily FUD. DRM existed before Vista and will exist after Vista.. its crappy.. and annoying.. and the best we can hope for is that eventually they'll get it right. Afterall even Gates said the current state of DRM is crappy.

But all this nonsense about "not owning my computer" or various paranoia is goofy...and like I said before in the end Microsoft and everyone else is at the mercy of the content holders when it comes to DRM.. hell its not like the stuff you buy off of Itunes isnt DRM'ed all up. I cant stream my Itunes purchased music with my Sonos.. but you dont see me claiming that OS X has removed my ownership of my Mac.

FUD = ?

buzzvang wrote:

FUD = ?

Fear Uncertainty Doubt.
Propaganda Campaign.

Personally, I'm holding off on buying a new system until I can get Vista Premium Preloaded.
I'm looking forward to a lot of the neat things, and will simply not buy the stuff that doesn't work right with Vista.
I welcome my Microsoft Overlords, and hope that they will give me many shiny things to distract me from my miserable life.

On topic: DRM sucks. But I don't see it affecting my life unless I let it. Microsoft has no obligation to let me 'do whatever I want' with their Operating System. I can still do whatever I want with my hardware, but once I load Microsoft I'm on THEIR rollercoaster. Much like Disney isn't going to let you run amuck in their themepark. Rerouting rollercoasters, reprogramming magical elves, or take the dress off of snow-white to 'see how it all works.' You're in THEIR theme-park and you're either there for the ride or you'll be asked to leave. Have a great day now!

Also, the first time someones home movie doesn't play right because 'this media is not licensed for this hardware' there will be a huge reworking of how the DRM integrates into media playback.

I just don't believe it.

Who makes the most money for MS? Unless it has changed radically it is the big PC makers like Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. They pay huge fees to get Windows pre-installed on their machines.

Yet who will be hurt the most if his "tilt" bit prediction comes true? Remember he said "Effects will vary from powering down, to various types of crash, to nothing at all, all triggered by exactly the same external event." Now who will get called when this happens? The same people who are MS's bread and butter. They will see huge spikes in tech support costs...do you think they might bitch a bit the MS?

GameGuru wrote:

But all this nonsense about "not owning my computer" or various paranoia is goofy...

They're trying to make a general purpose tool into something that isn't a tool anymore; it's the owner. If you have to ask permission, you're not the owner.

GameGuru wrote:

but you dont see me claiming that OS X has removed my ownership of my Mac.

As I've mentioned elsewhere in the thread, the DRM in OS X itself is limited to being sure you're running it on Apple hardware. I find that noxious, but since they don't really sell the operating system by itself, just barely acceptable. But nowhere in the OS itself is there any global attempt to make some bits special, some bits not copyable. There's no effort to make you, the owner of the computer, into a pure consumer.

iTunes has DRM, but it doesn't affect you at all if you don't buy DRM tracks. The DRM damage is limited to just what's being protected, the iTunes tracks themselves. It's stupid to buy music from Apple, but at least it doesn't screw up your entire computer while it's playing, and the whole OS isn't designed around protecting the precious data from the evil user.

Rezzy wrote:

Microsoft has no obligation to let me 'do whatever I want' with their Operating System

Wow, what a pile of sh*t that is. The power company, therefore, has the right to tell you what you can and can't plug into your power outlets? The phone company has the right to tell you what conversations you can have? Your ISP has the right to tell you what you can and can't download? It's their network, and their power. You're just the consumer. You're in their theme park, you'd better do what they want.

Microsoft is a monopoly. The rules are different when you're a monopoly. And they're trying, with this new attempt at locking out all other operating systems from working drivers, to extend that monopoly status to an absolutely unbreakable level.

They're not just trying to lock you out of full control of hardware you paid for, but also making damn sure you have no alternatives.

A better way, perhaps, of putting it: The Vista DRM protections are so pervasive that the power company equivalent would be putting cameras in your house, aimed at all your outlets, to be sure you're not running a grow op in your house. If anything green showed up in the camera, they'd automatically cut off power to that outlet... and if more than one outlet showed any green, they'd just turn off the whole house.

Perhaps an even better analogy: before you can plug in ANYTHING to the outlets, you have to get permission.

Malor wrote:

A better way, perhaps, of putting it: The Vista DRM protections are so pervasive that the power company equivalent would be putting cameras in your house, aimed at all your outlets, to be sure you're not running a grow op in your house. If anything green showed up in the camera, they'd automatically cut off power to that outlet... and if more than one outlet showed any green, they'd just turn off the whole house.

Perhaps an even better analogy: before you can plug in ANYTHING to the outlets, you have to get permission.

Or even better! If you plug an unapproved or malfunctioning device into an outlet they'll pop a fuse and prevent power from flowing to that outlet... and if you bypass that they'll burn down your house! Oh whoops! That already happens.

Try again.

Paaaaaaaaar-anoia cha cha cha.

/EDIT
People are probably already responding to that or ignoring it, whatever.
But I feel like elaborating a little here: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA *cough* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Why should they make it easy? Why should they care? Why should they give a single rats ass what you WANT to be able to do with your system? 99% of the people use maybe 5% of the capabilities of a modern computer. I'm making that statistic up. But it FEELS right. Who cares? If you don't like it, you'll find an alternative! Hardware manufacturers are not the meek little peons of Microsoft just waiting for the tug on the leash. Nor is Microsoft all powerful an unaccountable for their decisions.

Attributing this power to them is delusional. They do not rule the hardware market, and being able to turn off hardware isn't going to grant them this power.

Rezzy wrote:

Why should they care? Why should they give a single rats ass what you WANT to be able to do with your system?

How about, "because I'm paying them $350 for their product"?

And edit to add: If you know and admit that they don't care in the least about you or what you want to do with the computer... why on earth are you willing to buy their products?

And finally... if you don't think Microsoft can lock up the hardware market, you don't understand mass production. You're arguing on the one hand that they shouldn't care about the 5% of the market, and then on the other hand you seem to be arguing that there can be a viable market for hardware that sells to that 5%.

I entirely reject that 5% claim, by the way; most people are going to be hit by this. But you can't argue this from both angles.

On rereading, I realize you're making a slightly different argument than that. But I'll leave it up because I've seen others make that argument... "why should Microsoft care about the 12 people who actually know how to use their computers?" The answer: because they're a monopoly.

And yes, hardware manufacturers ARE leashed, because if they don't sign on to this system, Vista won't let them show high-quality content. Period. So they HAVE TO sign on if they want to be able to sell products, and if they DO sign on, they can't release specs on their devices to anyone else. So Linux goes away.

Malor wrote:

How about, "because I'm paying them $350 for their product"?

Particularly when there are free alternatives available that will let you literally do anything you want to any part of the software.

Malor wrote:

OS X is also a perfectly good alternative for most folks.

Not gonna jump in on the article because I think a lot remains to be seen as to the extent of Microsoft's control; not to mention changes they may make due to public backlash. I think it's safe to say that OSX will be heading in the same direction, whatever that may end up being, as Microsoft's final decision and folks are deluding themselves if they think it will be any different for the OS from Apple's camp.

Seems like this thread is slouching towards P&C.

TheGameguru wrote:

oh wow.. how wrong.

First of all Vista isnt "bloated" thats simply your personal slant on it.. running it on decent mid level PC (AMD 3800+) hardware its just as fast or faster than XP on that same machine.. in fact its time to desktop was a full 2-3 seconds faster than on a similar clean XP build...and this with still beta ATI Video Drivers and beta Soundblaster drivers. Your so called bloatware is equally as fast running Office 2007 if not faster in many ways. Even some non PC tech types in my office when first encountering Vista was to say "wow this is so much faster than XP" Do you have something to back up this claim of "bloat" other than lines of code which frankly dont mean sh*t.

Second naturally Microsoft has to support HD content playback in their OS.. they've had some success with Windows MCE and would of course choose to continue down that path with Vista.. so not offering BluRay and HD-DVD content playback in an HTPC would be market suicide...good thing your not running Microsoft.

That "article" was pure FUD and completely innacurate in a few ways.. the FUD spread on medical "issues" that will arise from Vista was laughable at best.. remember folks.. playing back HD-DVD's and Bluray is hardly a function of medical equipment.. and lets face it.. as I said before in a short time every single LCD and Videocard will be HDCP enabled so this whole "fear" of downgraded image quality will be completely transparent to the end user.. in fact it simply wont exist. There isnt a single FACT in that article that will actually happen in the real world.

* Your comparison of OS performance by measuring startup time is inherently flawed - even assuming that both OSes were clean and fresh and ran on the same exact hardware, which I highly doubt - startup time doesn't mean anything when it comes to actual performance.

* Your assessment/comparison of OS performance based on Microsoft Office is deeply flawed for two reasons:
a) the "beta" ATI drivers don't exactly have to work hard to render the freaking OFFICE
b) Office is made by Microsoft and is integrated/preloaded partially into the OS just as deep as the IE is. That does not make for an accurate performance assessment. An accurate performance assessment would involve a third-party software, of the same exact version, running on both OSes, with the same exact hardware.

* Not having HD playback would not be market suicide ? That is your own FUD, nothing more. Windows Media Center edition was nice but hardly a blockbuster hit. I, personally didn't care for it.

Moreso, the HD playback COULD have been implemented in a minimalistic way - the same way they did it with XBOX 360's HD-DVD drive. They didn't rewrite the core of the OS with the tilt-bit bullsh*t or needless encryption, because that would slow it down. They just did what was necessary for actual HD playback, without going out of their way to cripple the OS.

* There isn't a FACT in that article that will happen in the real world ? How about discouragement of open-source driver development, loss of unified drivers, needless increases in system requirements, for starters ? Seriously dude, did you even read the article before grandiosely dismissing it in its entirety ?

Edwin wrote:

People like myself who went through high school and college with only their PC and no TV. Everything I did wen't through my monitor, either through a video capture card (Thanks GameGuru!) or through my more recent Dell monitor that has other inputs. Granted the majority of this demographic will bootleg the content anyways to run it sans DRM on their PC anyways.

I was about to point out the hilarity of the "starving student who wants his video in HD" concept, but you've answered your own post, it seems. DVD isn't going anywhere for a long, long while. Not that your demographic would buy those, either.

Games and Platforms is where I usually go to look for stuff about games.

Oh snap!

Welcome back GG and thanks for some much needed perspective

Malor wrote:

why on earth are you willing to buy their products?

Because it does what I need it to do.
And I believe in the end this will be true of most people.

TheGameguru wrote:

Second naturally Microsoft has to support HD content playback in their OS.. they've had some success with Windows MCE and would of course choose to continue down that path with Vista.. so not offering BluRay and HD-DVD content playback in an HTPC would be market suicide...good thing your not running Microsoft.

I have to disagree with this one point as Microsoft is perfectly willing to allow systems without any TV tuners to be shipped with XP-MCE as the OS. They have a history of ignoring beneficial technologies on shaky reasoning (Bluetooth and EFI), so there's no reason they had to support extra protection for playback in Vista. The original article is rather alarmist, though.

Don't know why this didn't occur to me sooner. Moving to tech.

A bit off topic, but I think companies worrying about DRM for sound is a waste of time, unless they can DRM every connection from the media up to the headphones I listen to (and in such a way that prevents me from slicing up the headphones and sending the sound back to my microphone.)

TheGameguru wrote:

well yes and no.. you think the content holders will be more generous with say Linux? Apple?

First, trying to tie the Linux community down to a 'required' feature set is a feat I'd love to see anyone accomplish. Second, "the content holders" are not the legislative branch. Microsoft is one of the most influental companies in the world, let's don't act as though they had no choice but to bend over. Third, none of this really interests me as user.
I don't care about the politics involved, I want good reasons for purchasing this OS, and I only see good reasons not to.

* Your comparison of OS performance by measuring startup time is inherently flawed - even assuming that both OSes were clean and fresh and ran on the same exact hardware, which I highly doubt - startup time doesn't mean anything when it comes to actual performance.

No it did run on the exact same hardware.. in that I wiped the machine clean.. installed XP patched it up fully and timed it.. then reformated it and installed Vista RTM patched that and timed it. What in my text led you to believe that I didnt do this?

* Your assessment/comparison of OS performance based on Microsoft Office is deeply flawed for two reasons:
a) the "beta" ATI drivers don't exactly have to work hard to render the freaking OFFICE
b) Office is made by Microsoft and is integrated/preloaded partially into the OS just as deep as the IE is. That does not make for an accurate performance assessment. An accurate performance assessment would involve a third-party software, of the same exact version, running on both OSes, with the same exact hardware.

Well given that Office 2007 was the only real application that I could test that was "optimized" for Vista there wasnt much choice. Oh.. and the beta video driver did have some impact as I would see periods of black screen before I would see some portions of the GUI (fixed btw in the latest ATI driver). It would have been silly to say use Photoshop that hasnt been updated yet for full Vista compatability. Hardly a fair test. Again.. I was hardly doing an exhaustive benchmark but I certainly did 1000% times more than what you seem to have done.. which is nothing but continue to claim "bloatware" with some lame reasoning that since Microsoft added DRM its bloated..

...

* Not having HD playback would not be market suicide ? That is your own FUD, nothing more. Windows Media Center edition was nice but hardly a blockbuster hit. I, personally didn't care for it.

No it would.. explain how it wouldnt?.. obviously since playback of optical media is critical for a Media Center would require Microsoft supporting future platforms.. just because HD-DVD and Bluray are not popular right now if Microsoft is releasing an OS for the next 5-6 years..chances are its going to be popular enough to demand support in a few years. MCE sold pretty well actually.. much better than Microsoft thought.. and there are a great deal of OEM's designing media center PC's not to mention a great deal of traction now in the home theater segment. Just because YOU didnt like it doenst mean its not important to Microsoft as a platform strategy.

* There isn't a FACT in that article that will happen in the real world ? How about discouragement of open-source driver development, loss of unified drivers, needless increases in system requirements, for starters ? Seriously dude, did you even read the article before grandiosely dismissing it in its entirety ?

I did read it.. it was crap.. alarmist nonsense with little real world impact. Open Source? I somehow doubt anything will impact the 1% dedicated to creating open source drivers.. I suspect somehow they will manage just fine. Unified drivers will exist again shortly.. there is always a split at first when a new OS gets released but soon enough they will package them again as one.. the unified package may grow a bit but its not like they will go away completely. And Vista will run just fine on older hardware.. its not like you absolutely HAVE to have the new GUI to run the OS it will disable itself. The requirements are steeper to run Vista with all the bells and whistles..