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High-Quality HD Content Can't Easily Be Played by Vista 434

DaMan1970 writes "Content protection features in Windows Vista from Microsoft are preventing customers from playing high-quality HD audio/video & harming system performance. Vista requires premium content like HD movies to be degraded in quality when it is sent to high-quality outputs, like DVI. Users will see status codes that say 'graphics OPM resolution too high'. There are ways to bypass the Windows Vista protection by encoding the movies using alternative codecs like X264, or DiVX, which are in fact more effective sometimes then Windows own WMV codec. These codecs are quite common on HD video Bittorrent sites, or Newsgroups."

Vista is Watching You 458

greengrass writes "Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal data to the Redmond company."

Vista Worse For User Efficiency Than XP 546

erikvlie writes "Pfeiffer Consulting released a report on User Interface Friction, comparing Windows Vista/Aero with Windows XP and Mac OS X. The report concludes that Vista/Aero is worse in terms of desktop operations, menu latency, and mouse precision than XP — which was and still is said to be a lot worse on those measures than Mac OS X. The report was independently financed. The IT-Enquirer editor has read the report and summarized the most important findings."

MS Fights Gmail With 2-GB Exchange Mailboxes 353

prawnonthebarbie writes "Microsoft is battling the trend for frazzled office workers to give up on Outlook and auto-forward all their mail to Gmail: the company is promising 2-GB mailboxes in Exchange 2007 rather than the piffling 50-MB mailboxes most workplaces have now. Speaking at the launch of Vista, Office, and Exchange in Singapore, Microsoft Product Marketing Manager Martha DeAmicis said Microsoft had built clustered replication into Exchange so corporate IT admins wouldn't be worrying about backing up big mailboxes to tape. However, its killer feature appears to be its plans to make those gigs of email available on Joe Officeworker's mobile phone."
GNU is Not Unix

FSF Launches "BadVista" Campaign 607

FrankNFurter writes to note the launch yesterday of the FSF's BadVista campaign against Microsoft's new operating system. BadVista's aim is to inform users about the alleged harms inflicted by Vista on the user and about free software alternatives. Quoting program administrator John Sullivan: "Vista is an upsell masquerading as an upgrade. It is an overall regression when you look at the most important aspect of owning and using a computer: your control over what it does. Obviously MS Windows is already proprietary and very restrictive, and well worth rejecting. But the new 'features' in Vista are a Trojan Horse to smuggle in even more restrictions. We'll be focusing attention on detailing how they work, how to resist them, and why people should care."

Novell Injects MS Lawsuit Exploit Into Open Office 251

F.M. Petain writes, "It looks like Microsoft's first move in the 'Linux owes us' game is to move a Pawn. A few days ago, a Novell programmer, Noel Power, submitted patches to add VBA compatibility to Open Office's spreadsheet module. This is great for people trying to convert the business desktop from closed source to open source, but is this gift really a ticking time bomb? What happens when Microsoft declares that the VBA code was stolen?" The patches may have been submitted only a few days ago, but the code must be considerably older; the article claims that nine distros in adition to SUSE already support the VBA extensions in their versions of Open Office. ( and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.)

Windows vs Mac Security 513

sdhorne writes "There is a good technical discussion over at InfoWorld on the merits of launchd and what is lacking in a comparable Windows secure solution. It is a throw back to the UNIX vs Windows security discussion that has been hashed out for many years." From the article: "it always traces back to Microsoft's untenable policy of maintaining gaps in Windows security to avoid competing with 3rd party vendors and certified partners. Apple's taking a different approach: What users need is in the box: Anti-virus, anti-spam, encryption, image backup and restore, offsite safe storage through .Mac, and launchd. Pretty soon any debate with Microsoft over security can be ended in one round when Apple stands up, says 'launchd', and sits back down."

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg