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Submission + - Does Vista Cripple FOSS Apps?

hdon writes: "My sister has a relatively new laptop with Windows Vista installed. Usually I make software suggestions based on what I trust and what I know, which generally means free and open source software. She uses her computer mostly for homework, reading, communication, and streaming audio, but I've still ended up reinstalling Vista to combat growing system sluggishness — the cause of which I have been unable to diagnose. Is it safe to install open source software on Vista?

We've all read about how costly Vista is to system performance, but I have been particularly shaken by an incident where open source multimedia software was unable to perform as you should be able to expect it to thanks to (it would seem) Vista's DRM.

Vista's DRM remains a great mystery to me. I don't know where it begins or where it ends. I suspect there is cryptography involved. Perhaps sophisticated watermarking algorithms. I understand PMP.

But what do you do when Vista's DRM hinders your program's performance? Surely Microsoft won't allow their own software or that of their partners to suffer much for very long if it should ever happen that some program doesn't mix well with Vista's DRM, but I'm sure such secrets come under the lock and key of an NDA incompatible with open source. Isn't this a dangerous anticompetitive condition?

All I know is that I have been afraid to offer any software suggestions for Vista users for fear that it will cause problems when it "is not running, or even after uninstall" and force them to reinstall Vista."

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