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From the Divine to the Digital

I was chatting with a friend at one point, and he said something like "so you're paying more attention to the Divine than the digital." I kinda like that. Anyway, this post, in a rare moment these days, is about the digital.

What's starting this off is the brou-ha-ha about Windows Vista, which is the newest version of Windows, that was supposed to be out by now, but is not going to see the light of day until 2007.  Microsoft employees are even up in arms about it. One of the big complaints about Windows Vista has been that there really isn't much there there. Vista has an updated user interface, called "Aero", which, actually looks alot like that other OS. And, in one person's view, "Windows Vista Beta 1 is a much-needed demonstration that Microsoft can still churn out valuable Windows releases, after years of doubt." Wow, that's really profound.

My guess is that for most consumer Windows users, this is really not a big deal. More and more Windows users are switching to Macs (especially given the switch to Intel chips), but the delay of Vista probably won't make much of a difference. Where this becomes interesting, I think, is in big enterprises, which have been using Linux more and more over time. Will this delay mean perhaps they might begin to move to Linux? I don't know, but it might be interesting to watch. And, since Microsoft can't seem to move quickly in response to security vulnerabilities, I'm wondering how long people will be patient with that.

The second story is about Apple. Apple uses a codec (called AAC) which in connection with FairPlay, protects the content that they sell on the iTunes Music Store. Because that creates a monopoly (content sold on the ITMS is only playable on iPods) France wants Apple to open it up, so that other devices can play content from ITMS. If they don't do this, they can't sell content in France. France also wants Sony and Microsoft to open up their proprietary formats as well, so that all devices and content can play nice. Many are hailing this legislation, for a variety of reasons. But some people think it's not likely to spread far. The reason why anybody should care, is that this is one more voice in the argument about Digital Rights Management - that family of technologies that is increasingly infringing on our rights to listen to and watch creative content in any way we'd like, on any number of devices we own, etc.

OK, back to the Divine.  

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