Subject: Re: 'Athens' built on strategy for new PC golden age
From: Seth Gordon <sethg@ropine.com>
Date: 08 May 2003 13:27:38 -0400

On Tue, 2003-05-06 at 23:26, Seth Johnson wrote:
> 
> This is the release of Microsoft's spin for Palladium, methinks -- complete
> with "reinvigorate the stagnant industry" -- meaning, begin the shift to
> catering to entertainment interests rather than tech innovation.

A slightly less sinister explanation:

Because of declining hardware prices, the cost of the OS license is an
ever-increasing proportion of the cost of a new PC.  Hardware
manufacturers, looking at their painfully thin profit margins and
flattening sales, don't like that.  They have two possible solutions to
the problem:

(1) Sell PCs with a cheaper OS (e.g., Lindows) preinstalled, and
convince consumers that the lower price compensates for the unfamiliar
OS.

(2) Sell PCs with more sophisticated hardware, and convince consumers
that the more powerful hardware compensates for the higher price.

Microsoft, of course, has a vested interest in helping hardware vendors
adopt solution (2).

(I don't think Palladium is much to worry about.  If Microsoft ever does
sell Palladium-equipped PCs, they *must* be able to run legacy Microsoft
software, or consumers will refuse to buy it.  If you can use sofware on
a legacy Microsoft OS to play an MP3 or MPEG file, you will still be
able to do that on a Palladium-equipped PC.  So the industry's existing
piracy problem -- illicit copies being circulated by Kazaa and what-not
-- will not be affected by Palladium.  I suspect that some people at
Microsoft are perfectly aware of that, but are quite happy to talk up
copy protection to help close deals with "content providers" who don't
know any better.  In short, Palladium is not about Microsoft helping
Hollywood fleece consumers; it's about Microsoft fleecing Hollywood.)

-- 
"*This* is the crack team that has foiled my every plan?  I am *so*
ashamed."
  --Spike
// seth gordon // sethg@ropine.com // http://ropine.com/sethg/cv.html //