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17 responses

  1. Bryan “accident” Socha
    January 27, 2006

    I may comment again when I have more time to read the enire post but I see the interesting you need to buy a new vista media center for cablecard. I will NOT support any cable company in my area and wasn’t even slightly excited about cablecard support.

    Now with that said, directv is not cable and not cablecard support. was the directv question just not answered or did everyone get shocked that cablecard needs a new computer also and everyon forgot cablelabs has nothing to do with directv?

    If possible to email over a followup, I would love to know if a non-cable directv customer, do I need to buy a new overpriced pc just because its cablelabs approved?

  2. Bryan “accident” Socha
    January 27, 2006

    I may comment again when I have more time to read the enire post but I see the interesting you need to buy a new vista media center for cablecard. I will NOT support any cable company in my area and wasn’t even slightly excited about cablecard support.

    Now with that said, directv is not cable and not cablecard support. was the directv question just not answered or did everyone get shocked that cablecard needs a new computer also and everyon forgot cablelabs has nothing to do with directv?

    If possible to email over a followup, I would love to know if a non-cable directv customer, do I need to buy a new overpriced pc just because its cablelabs approved?

  3. TD
    January 28, 2006

    Thomas – Being this is Allchin’s last year, I wonder how much of the feedback he was given will actually make it back to Redmond and have anything happen or if this was more like a diplomatic mission and as you wrote a PR thing. Did anybody pose that question?

  4. Jay Ethridge
    January 28, 2006

    I just had to respond to the comment about Apple’s DRM strategy. The idea the Apple has made enough money and should open it’s format is kind of funny. I think Microsoft has made plenty of money with Windows and I don’t see them “opening” up their communications protocols.

    They can’t seem to do it even after being successfully sued on two continents. As a person who would like free and open file sharing on a LAN I find that argument a little lame.

  5. Robert Scoble
    January 28, 2006

    TD: there were two other very powerful Microsoft people there at the dinner. So, don’t underestimate the feedback loop.

    Also, I interviewed the DRM team and they are very educated on the issues. Every single one of them has heard Cory Doctorow’s speech.

  6. Greg H
    January 28, 2006

    Adding slideshows and photo editing features to the OS should be illegal. In fact, it probably is, as it is a monopolistic practice. MS is using their monopoly share to “take a bite out of Adobe” AND compete with FREE software like Picasa. We should be able to install these apps separately, but to make them part of the OS is just trying to put companies out of business. Plus, these features should not be part of the OS, they should be separate apps. The OS is not the place for such things.

    I see that you were pushing for even more features so they could get rid of Flickr as well. That’s nice.

    Also, photo editing inside windows explorer? I’m surprised by that, I just want explorer to manage my files. I can install or use a separate app for editing photos, this is just a silly, unnecessary “feature”.

    I also find your comments on parental controls interesting. They “should include a feature that takes a screen shot of your child’s computer ever 5 seconds or so”. Geesh! Are your children convicted criminals or something? Do they continually get abducted and tortured by internet predators, so you feel you just MUST do something to prevent this from occurring over and over? I would think that most people could raise their children well enough that such invasive monitoring was not necessary.

    And finally, what is the point of DRM on cable TV? I can record a tv show but not move it to my laptop? Why not? I just don’t see any reason for that.

  7. Hubert Kay
    January 28, 2006

    Thomas – great work, really enjoyed reading this entry. Just one comment on a sentence you attributed to Tara:

    Tara Hunt expressed that she thought Microsoft should be doing more with respect to DRM in fighting Hollywood — that this should be their fight.

    I recall Economy 101: in a perfectly competitive marketplace, the suppliers will do their utmost to serve the every whim of their customers. That changes dramatically in a monopoly situation: a monopolist will do his utmost to serve the every whims of … other monopolists. That’s what you’re seeing here – both CableLabs and Microsoft are monopolies. They get along great, and Microsoft really does not see this as their fight. It’s just Economy 101 after all :-)

    Hubert

  8. Anonymous
    January 28, 2006

    This is very lame. The very people who truly love MCE are going to be punished. These are the people who enjoy building their own HTPCs. This is not going to go over well on the avsforum for HTPCs.

  9. Anonymous
    January 28, 2006

    Once again i find myself responding to absurd claims about Apple’s iTunes music files. First of all, they are NOT in a proprietary format as you claim. They are MP4 files, an INTERNATIONAL standard format which is playable on cell phones, the Sony PSP, iPods, computers. What is proprietaty is Apple’s DRM system. But guess what, Microsoft’s DRM is too.

    This may all seem like semantics, but they are important semantics. The difference between Apple and Microsoft is an issue of licensing. Microsoft will license their DRM, Apple will not.

    The ironic part of your argument is that both Microsoft’s encoding format and the DRM protecting it are proprietary. Thus Microsoft’s solution is LESS open and flexible than Apple’s.

    As another user pointed out, your logic is flawed when it comes to “opening up” Apple’s DRM. The mere fact that Apple is successful does not morally or legally obligate them to license their DRM to anyone.

    In fact, I am sure you are aware of the rumors that Microsoft is contemplating an entrance to the hardware side of portable music players. This is an acknowledgement of what Apple has long known. True customer loyalty and satisfaction comes from a complete end-to-end solution.

    In the Microsoft world now, you buy a player from one company, plug it into a computer made by another, purchase music from yet another company and download it to the device using software from yet another. This sort of flexibility undoubtedly has its appeals—to some. However, it is far too complicated of a chain with too many points of weakness to work for the mass market consumer.

    This is not a point that can be debated. If the WMA-based players were really better, cheaper and easier to use, why is the iPod so popular?

    Therein lies the fundamental flaw in your logic, you claim that Apple has been too successful, thus they are “obligated” in some way to leave their successful business strategy and instead adopt open that neither the consumer or board of directors would like. Yet at the same time Microsoft may leave the strategy you tout and adopt Apple’s.

    In the end I think all this debate stems from a bunch of Microsofties standing around scratching their head and wondering how the “little” and “unsuccessful” Apple and Google managed to make inroads on the Microsoft “monopoly.”

  10. Jman95
    January 28, 2006

    Not another Microsft rant from the apple fans? Apple makes you buy their hardware to use OSx and I hear no complaints, I don’t see apple opening the ipods to other file types either.

    Apple makes very little money on itunes at this point, but by making itunes only compatible with the ipod, their making a lot of money.

    Sorry, but when it comes to content, the media companies are the ones in charge, so Microsot and apple have to go along if they want to have content to sell.

  11. Anonymous
    January 30, 2006

    Why are your pictures still so white-balance challenged? Maybe it’s somehow symbolic of the rose colored glasses you use to view the big evil corporation that builds software that doesn’t trust its users.

  12. wearedoomed
    February 1, 2006

    Nice a**-sucking report – sounds like they sat around and had a nice circle jerk about how great copy protection (I refuse to use the words “DRM”) is. Does Hawk ever think critically about anything that is said to him or does he just accept everything at face value. Oh, and Scoble, the fact that the “DRM team” has “heard” Doctorow’s speech means nothing – actions not words, brother, actions not words.

  13. Thomas Hawk
    February 1, 2006

    Hey, I’m no fan of DRM. Every song I own is DRM free mp3. But I don’t think you get premium HDTV without it. The content owners aren’t going to let it out without DRM and Microsoft is at the mercy of CableLabs and the satellite providers if they don’t provide DRM. So would I rather have only OTA HDTV without DRM (which is still an option by the way, nobody is forcing a Vista upgrade) or would I rather have premium HDTV with DRM, I’ll take premium HDTV with DRM.

    Now could Microsoft fight Hollywood and make a box that records pirated cable TV or something, maybe, but they’d probably lose in court. And of course I’m not oblivious to the fact that Microsoft makes money selling DRM to Hollywood and that it might not be in their economic interst to oppose it.

    I don’t like the DRM any more than you do but if you want the Sopranos and Six Feet Under in high def I’m afraid it’s not going to happen without it.

  14. wearedoomed
    February 1, 2006

    Hawk;

    What makes you think that the consumer will never get “premium HD” without copy protection? The only people pushing that line are the people who, of course, have a vested interest in ensuring that it happens (i.e. Hollywood). But until the day that the legal copy protection mandate gets handed down from the USG, then the Hollywood hacks are simply bluffing their way into getting what they want. Your simple parroting of their party line merely makes it seem like you’ve already drank the Kool-Aid.

    This was the point I tried to make in my first post; MS is perhaps the only commercial entity that could actually battle Hollywood to a standstill over this issue. You had the opportunity to engage with relatively senior MS personnel about their actions re: copy protection, and you chose not to do so. Why not? I can only assume that, despite your protestations to the contrary, you must not be particularly bothered by copy protection technologies. If that’s your position, then fine – we’ll just agree to disagree on that particular point. But at least have the intellectual honesty to tell your readers that the Allchin post/interview is a PR fluff job arranged by Scoble (who is, by definition, merely a PR/marketing mouthpiece).

    And finally, please, please, please, stop it with the “poor old Microsoft is a just a pawn in this game” thing. That’s just downright offensive. In case you hadn’t realized it yet, MS is “…at the mercy of…” exactly nobody in this world, inlcuding the respective governments of the US and the EU.

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    July 22, 2006

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  16. Anonymous
    April 6, 2007

    Well I work for a cable company. I wont say who but theres only a few so take your pick.

    I am a tech who fixes and installs services, There is no doubt that this technology will fall sqarely in my lap once released.

    With all of the quirkyness of digital cable I will have to make this work in many houses that are incorrectly wired cause the *TECHIES* out there *THINK* they know how a house should be wired for Video data and voice.
    I for one want strict standards on PCs using the cablecard 2.0 spec.

    I want the same software and same configurations to be employed to cut down on training costs alone. After all cable tech are not payed what computer techs are and never will be..

    UNLESS YOU WANT ALL YOUR CABLE BILLS TO GO UP TO PAY FOR THE INCREASED HOURLY RATES TECHS WILL DEMAND TO SUPPORT THIS.

    Before you spout BIG BAD CABLELABS.
    Put yourself in the shoes of the tech who has to come out to your house to fix your D.I.Y. HTPC.

    Ide rather have a boilerplate PC that can be networked or have additional HDs added to it to have unlimited storage for premium HD content.

  17. Carmelo Prety
    June 9, 2011

    This blog is getting my attention. I have great time reading this. I will be following your posts.

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