posted Dec 26, 2006

In August 2002, I said that then-recent changes to the Windows XP EULA were a declaration that your computer belonged to Microsoft.

It always takes more time to implement these things than initially thought, but the dream of having corporations own your computer lives on now in Vista. This paper documents some of the work that has gone into making Vista "safe" for "protected" content, and made it clear how whenever there was a conflict between the interests of the media companies and your interests, you lost.

I don't talk about this very often as this strikes me as the sort of thing that ranting on about is actively counterproductive. But I would continue to encourage you to become familiar enough with Linux or MacOSX or another OS that you are not stuck with Microsoft, if computing is at all an important aspect of your life. (Although I'd expect MacOSX to go down the same road sooner or later, so that may not be the best choice.) As I take a rather pragmatic view of this issue, I think even having a Linux system for "normal use" and a Windows XP system (separate machines or dual-boot, whichever) for games is fine. I have a Windows XP locked up in a VMWare virtual machine, for instance, because I need to test things in Internet Explorer. It's not about eliminating Microsoft per se, it's about not being completely beholden to them.


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