Bill Thompson of the BCC World is saying that Microsoft Windows Vista may be a threat to Internet Freedom. He makes a compelling argument against the DRM technology, especially that is found in Vista, as it is eroding freedoms that most computer users already take for granted.
Microsoft’s Vista will be used in millions of homes, and people will find it simpler, easier, safer and more stable than previous versions of Windows.
They will appreciate the effort that went into developing the “Aero” user interface, the new security features that protect them more effectively from spam and viruses, and the way lots of things just work, like the improved wireless networking.
They will rarely notice the limitations, because they are not the sort of people who download films from the net or try to make copies of their DVDs.
But the day will come when they do notice. It is not that the features built into Windows are evil, as some of the more hyperbolic bloggers claim, nor even that they are unnecessary.
It is that they change the way our computers work and the way they relate to the network, and those changes could be used to take away our freedoms.
Thanks to the internet we are seeing an unprecedented shift of power from the centre to the people, a shift that we observe in the media, in politics and in the way large companies respond to their customers.
We need to ensure that the freedoms we currently enjoy online are preserved as the network evolves, or this shift could easily end up as minor historical footnote.
Are we heading down a slippery slope? Thompson certainly seems to think so. What do you think?
[tags]internet, Microsoft, vista, DRM, freedom[/tags]