Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from Brad King

Microsoft's Vista Tackles Piracy

The latest incarnation of MS’s operating system is designed to stifle the distribution of illegal copies of it.

  • October 4, 2006

Microsoft announced that its much-ballyhooed operating system, Vista, will lock users out of core functionalities if the software isn’t registered with an MS-approved registration key within 30 days. The move is aimed at curtailing the distribution of hacked versions of the OS, which typically flood the market within days–if not hours–of a release.

It’s a tough stance, particularly for a company that has such a contentious relationship with the open-source and hacker worlds, which typically search for ways around such restrictions. However, Microsoft is gambling that its Software Protection Platform–a series of applications designed to keep prying coders out of its products–will fare better than previous iterations of its protection programs.

The software industry’s move toward more intrusive digital rights management–and the resulting programs that trace what is on users’ computers–should concern everyone. While it’s understandable that a company would want to protect its intellectual property, it’s not so clear-cut that these companies should have access to what runs on your personal computer.

While Apple has drawn my ire for its restrictive licensing agreements for media, Microsoft’s move has the potential to be far scarier for two reasons: its operating system is the most popular in the United States and it is moving the monitoring from individual media files (such as Apple does) and porting that to your hard drive.

AI and robotics are changing the future of work.  Are you ready?  Join us at EmTech Next 2019.

Register now
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print Subscription.
  • Print Subscription {! insider.prices.print_only !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six print issues per year plus The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Print magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.