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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.
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