Vista crippled by content protection

PC users around the globe may find driver software is stopped from working by Vista if it detects unauthorised content access, claims a new report.

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PC users around the globe may find driver software is stopped from working by Vista if it detects unauthorised content access, claims a new report.

Peter Guttman, a security engineering researcher at New Zealand's university of Auckland, has written A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection. He believes Vista is trying to achieve the impossible by protecting access to premium content. Users will find their PCs' compromised by the persistent and continuous content access checks carried out by Microsoft’s latest operating system (OS).

Guttman thinks these checks and the associated increase in multimedia card hardware costs make Vista's content protection specification “the longest suicide note in history”.

The core elements in Vista have been designed to protect access to premium content. The design requires changes in multimedia cards before Microsoft will support them for Vista use.

Content that is protected by digital rights management (DRM) must be sent across protected interfaces. This means cards using non-protected interfaces can't be used by Vista PCs.

The report also pointed to a number of features the stringent Vista content protection measures can disable and degrade on a PC.

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