Schneier On Why DRM in Vista is Bad For Everyone Except Microsoft

In a recent post that originally appeared in Forbes magazine, security expert Bruce Schneier presents a clean, compelling argument for why Vista's DRM is bad for everyone except Microsoft.

Bruce mentions the crippling effect that the DRM in Vista has on computing hardware, and also the lock-in effect that it will have with regard to purchased and protected content. But one of the best and least oft made points in the article is the effect that Vista DRM may have on the hardware market, leading us into a world where there is less interoperability, less universality of hardware. No more mix and match and Microsoft is the one in contol.

Microsoft is reaching for a much bigger prize than Apple: not just Hollywood, but also peripheral hardware vendors. Vista's DRM will require driver developers to comply with all kinds of rules and be certified; otherwise, they won't work. And Microsoft talks about expanding this to independent software vendors as well. It's another war for control of the computer market.

The piece closes with this:

In the meantime, the only advice I can offer you is to not upgrade to Vista. It will be hard. Microsoft's bundling deals with computer manufacturers mean that it will be increasingly hard not to get the new operating system with new computers. And Microsoft has some pretty deep pockets and can wait us all out if it wants to. Yes, some people will shift to Macintosh and some fewer number to Linux, but most of us are stuck on Windows. Still, if enough customers say no to Vista, the company might actually listen.

We agree! Stay away from Vista and Vista installed systems. Tell manufacturers that you want other choices like GNU/Linux pre-installed.