Microsoft gets whacked up side the head, and I can’t help myself


Wow! Is this Internet thing powerful or what?

Over the Xmas holiday, a well-known security expert and professor in New Zealand named Peter Gutman wrote and posted on the ‘net a scathing critique of Windows Vista’s new DRM technology.

Now, it’s nearly impossible for you to go anywhere on the ‘Net without seeing people podcast and blog about it.

Wait…hold on…wait! Before you decide you would rather die than read an expose of Vista security, consider Gutman’s “Executive Executive summary”:

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

The entire paper is full of such pithy, outraged writing, and I highly recommend it to you.

But I am struck by two things…beyond my outrage at the allegations Gutman makes.

First, this is another example of the overriding importance of the ‘net. People from the CAD community, the security community and a bazillion other communities have begun fervent discussions of this paper. Normally, these communities are somewhat isolated from each other. But when something like this “breaks out” into general discussion among communities, it’s a beautiful thing to watch and so much more powerful.

Second…and here’s where I can’t help myself…I just love it when MSFT gets whacked. I know they’ve tried hard to reform themselves. I know they aren’t the overarching power broker they once were. And I know there are lots of hard-working and bright people in Microsoft. Still, they deserve it.

Microsoft is a leader in an industry where strong, undiluted ideas come right at them. They can’t plead innocence. But they have a consistent habit of being tone deaf.

I’m sorry that it makes me gleeful that they’re getting whacked. But it amuses me to watch a company that built a monopoly on the back of an open, ubiquitous platform clumsily close that platform and pay the price at the hands of multiple online communities.






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