Friday, February 09, 2007

MSC Vista – What if nobody comes to the party?

It’s generally acknowledged that Microsoft made an enormous effort -- and forced everyone who makes hardware related to playing movies to make similar efforts – so that Vista would contain awesome control over the user’s ability to copy content. This effort has cost MSC a lot of time and money. It will also cost us, in the form of a more expensive OS, more expensive graphics and audio, CPUs unable to realize their full power, and more expensive driver software.

But what if nobody comes to the party? MSC’s worst nightmare ought to be that all the big content companies suddenly agree with a recent Bill Gates comment and decide to do away with digital rights management. That would leave Vista overpriced and overly twitchy to no point, and there’s no telling how bad the fallout might be for MSC.

Can’t happen soon, right? Ummm, take a look at this: A report that EMI is thinking about selling all of its songs in unprotected MP3 format. (This is an A.P. article, I link to it where Slashdot did, in the Chicago Sun Times.) We like to call this a “crack in the wall.”

Update: Maybe Yahoo doesn't want to come to the party either. Here's Dave Goldberg, head of Yahoo Music, wanting to get out of DRM.
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