Andrew Pollack's Blog

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What ever happened to the concept of “Mine”?

By Andrew Pollack on 03/06/2007 at 12:03 PM EST

To me, it started getting bad with software licensing. You used to buy a software package and you owned it. If you wanted another one, you bought another one. Sometimes vendors would offer discounts for users who had bought their previous ones. If you moved to another computer, you had to re-install your software but you had the right to do so.

That’s not all true any more. You’re often not buying software, you’re buying a limited term license to use software on one machine and not transfer it. In some cases, if you want to keep using that software you have to keep buying that license each year. To enforce this, a huge amount of development effort goes into enforcing these limits.

Now, with Vista, for the first time you’re being asked to buy an operating system in which the primary difference from previous versions is its ability to PREVENT you from doing things. No longer is your operating system a tool you bought to help you get things done – whatever they may be – in a better way. No, a lot of the upgrade here is about providing a platform so that people can sell you more stuff without the desperate fear that you’ll copy it and use it in ways they don’t want.

Let me repeat that. The primary job of much of Vista’s new functionality is to prevent you from doing what you want with other stuff you bought.

Ultimately, this is about making your computer a better platform for selling you more stuff. Media companies particularly want your computer to be the terminal from which you pay them to view their content. They’re so desperately afraid that you’re a thief, however, that they feel the need to go to extreme measures to “protect” this stuff from you. The highest quality videos will not even play if you don’t have a special kind of monitor that encrypts the signal from the pc out to the monitor so that you can’t slip a DVD recorder in the middle.

It seems to me, we’re not BUYING anything any more, we’re RENTING it. Personally, I’m not interested in renting for ever.

There are  - loading -  comments....

Amen!By Jens on 03/06/2007 at 02:26 PM EST
re: What ever happened to the concept of u201CMineu201D?By Danny Lawrence on 03/06/2007 at 03:50 PM EST
That's one of the reasons I'm "stocking up" on WinXP machines/licenses.

Ultimately I think this will backfire, the more that MSFT tries to throttle its
users, and the more they cozy up to the RIAA the better the alternatives will
re: What ever happened to the concept of u201CMineu201D?By Jo Grant on 03/06/2007 at 10:34 PM EST
Rock on Ubuntu...
re: What ever happened to the concept of u201CMineu201D?By Bruce Perry on 03/07/2007 at 12:13 AM EST
I haven't heard about any Vista features that would make me want to use it. If
its major new feature is to prevent me from doing what I want on my PC, then
why bother.
re: What ever happened to the concept of u201CMineu201D?By Patrick on 03/15/2007 at 10:51 AM EDT
I'm not sure about all that, I seem to remember a whole litany of postings a
while back (and by a while back I mean years) on various sites lamenting the
fact that if you actually read the software EULA, basically you were leasing
the software and that anything that did go wrong wasn't the fault of the
software makers. But, like so many other things in life, I could be completely
off base about this...
re: What ever happened to the concept of u201CMineu201D?By satish chauhan on 04/17/2007 at 08:20 AM EDT
here i have no coment on this matter...
but you are futuristic about your vision...i am sure..

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