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Microsoft Patents OS Lockdown Technology

Redmond magazine Editor Doug Barney mentioned this in his newsletter, and it caught our eye. Apparently, Microsoft has patented a technology that will let manufacturers control operating system upgrades and which software applications can be installed on an OS.

No, seriously! Check it out. Here's our favorite paragraph from the story:

"'Virtually anyone can write an application that can be executed on the system,' the patent complains. Consequently, apps or devices may not operate due to compatibility issues and many end users will associate those malfunctions with the manufacturer."

In other words, we got so sick of hearing about stuff not working with Vista, we just decided that we'd control what you could and couldn't install in Windows. Take that, you whiny users!

OK, that's probably not fair. Microsoft hasn't said what it plans to do -- if anything -- with this technology, so we don't know what form it will take or when or whether it'll appear. And, as Doug points out, it could be useful in an enterprise setting to have an OS that doesn't allow users to just install whatever strikes their fancy.

But, partners, who would you rather have controlling your customers' OS: you, your customers themselves or Microsoft? Actually, we'd love to have an answer to that question at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on May 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM


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