[LINK] vista critique

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Fri Jan 5 09:19:18 AEDT 2007

A case of unexpected consequences?

            A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection

                 Peter Gutmann, pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz
                      Last updated 28 December 2006
        Distributed under the Creative Commons license (see Appendix)

     (A note to readers: The reaction to what started as an obscure
      technical post to a security mailing list has been rather unexpected
      and overwhelming, so I'm totally buried in Vista email at the moment.
      Please be patient when expecting replies, and apologies if I can't
      reply to all messages).

Executive Summary

Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to
provide content protection for so-called "premium content", typically HD data
from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources.  Providing this protection incurs
considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical
support overhead, and hardware and software cost.  These issues affect not
only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the
protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever
come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for
example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server).  This document
analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral
damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry.

Executive Executive Summary

The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the
longest suicide note in history [Note A].


Jan Whitaker
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
commentary: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/

'Seed planting is often the most important step. Without the seed, 
there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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