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Microsoft OS Patent: Crippler or Enabler?

Microsoft just earned a patent for technology that can lock down an operating system and only allow the manufacturer to upgrade the OS or let software to be installed.

If this sounds like Soviet-style computing, you may be right. If abused, the vendor can centrally control your machine, and paying off Politburo members with Stoli won't even help you out.

Here's another take: IT loves to lock down computers because there are fewer viruses, inappropriate applications and data theft. A locked-down computer could be seen as a utility -- it does what you ask and no more. And if that means I can't install Linux or LimeWire, so be it.

Would you use such restricted PCs, or recommend them for your company? Yeses and nos can be forwarded to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on May 27, 2009 at 11:53 AM


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