Subject: Re: Latest on CPRM at the Register
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 30 Dec 2000 10:40:58 -0800

kmself@ix.netcom.com writes:

> on Sat, Dec 30, 2000 at 02:10:25PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull (turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp)
wrote:
> > 
> > One thing that hasn't been said explicitly that's probably worth
> > saying is that while Microsoft surely considers the pirates a good use
> > of marketing dollars (free distribution of freebies), they do want the
> > option to shut off the mass producers _at a time of their choosing_.
> 
> Cf:  proprietary file formats and backward incompatibility?  How else
> might they accomplish this?  Seems they may be running out of tricks in
> that big ole' bag of theirs.

Nah.  They just have to sell Internet enabled versions of their
product--e.g., Microsoft.NET.  Then they phase out the non-Internet
enabled versions, and use the old backward incompatible file format
trick to get everybody to upgrade.  Then you have to have at least an
occasional Internet connection to use their products.  And they can
shut them down easily at will.

(That sounds a bit far-fetched even to me, but I would never have
guessed that people would accept the backward incompatible file format
trick for so long.)

Ian