The most evil team at Microsoft: the WAVE team

Hey, the Channel 9 team found one of my old videos that didn’t get run and it’s a good one. I’m sure it took a while to get it past the PR team — when I shot it earlier this year I thought to myself “this will never make it to the public.”

Why?

Cause it’s the team that builds not only the audio and video functionality in Windows Vista, but it’s also the team that builds (play Jaws movie soundtrack here please) the DRM technologies.

Yes, it’s the most evil team at Microsoft. Damn, and they have a good conversation with me about DRM. We even talk about Cory Doctorow (who hates DRM). At about 19:00 into it the intersections of the interests are mapped out by Steve Ball. “They don’t always align.” That’s PM speak for “they hate each other.”

Oh and don’t miss the demo of Windows Vista’s audio features at 34:40. This is a MAJOR reason why I can’t wait to use Vista, particularly for making videos.

Note: I don’t really think this team is evil, but it shows you the business pressures that teams at Microsoft are under and shows you a little bit about how teams come up with things like DRM technologies.

I hope the Vista team has a bunch more demos like the one at 34:40, too. That was the first time I thought to myself that I had to have Vista. One demo. Now imagine if they have a ton of demos like that?

62 thoughts on “The most evil team at Microsoft: the WAVE team

  1. Pingback: The Anti-Marketer
  2. Or maybe it’s just anoying to buy songs on the iTMS and then have to convert them to mp3 to be able to play them on my mp3 player. This is in my opinion the biggest problem. My wife has an iPod so no problem for her, but I have an mp3 player, so i need to go through the pain to convert to be able to play. I bought the song, so i should be able to play. Make iTunes play nice with other music players, but nope, DRM gets in the way, so I have to convert. No problem for me other than a bit of time lost, but for joe average end use, i guess it means if you want to buy from iTMS, you better buy an iPod, or no play. Imagine if we had to convert cd’s to be able to listen on the brand of cd player we have, or we’d have to convert dvd’s before we were able to watch em on tv (something that needs doing if you want to watch region 1 on our region 2 players and you aren’t as lucky as me to have a region free dvd player). I’d say DRM is not a step forward at all. It just gets in the way of ease of use for the customer.

  3. Or maybe it’s just anoying to buy songs on the iTMS and then have to convert them to mp3 to be able to play them on my mp3 player. This is in my opinion the biggest problem. My wife has an iPod so no problem for her, but I have an mp3 player, so i need to go through the pain to convert to be able to play. I bought the song, so i should be able to play. Make iTunes play nice with other music players, but nope, DRM gets in the way, so I have to convert. No problem for me other than a bit of time lost, but for joe average end use, i guess it means if you want to buy from iTMS, you better buy an iPod, or no play. Imagine if we had to convert cd’s to be able to listen on the brand of cd player we have, or we’d have to convert dvd’s before we were able to watch em on tv (something that needs doing if you want to watch region 1 on our region 2 players and you aren’t as lucky as me to have a region free dvd player). I’d say DRM is not a step forward at all. It just gets in the way of ease of use for the customer.

  4. Podesta, you forgot some…

    People who complain loudly and consistently about DRM are:

    Creators of digital works, that don’t want controls slapped without their permission.

    People to whom have had their paid-content stolen back, when it fails to identify a device. Audible owes me $150 plus. Will I ever see it? No.

    Regular consumers that hate to fiddle. Average Joes complain, beeeeeeeeeelive me. People don’t want geek complexity and DRM fiddlings.

    People who bought Sony malware CDs. Umm, me. And others that have had DRM wreck havoc on other technologies.

    Anyone who has ever used MS Reader… ;)

    Fortune 500′s to which a flawed product activation scheme caused serious havoc. (WGA and others). And Turbotax for consumers.

    DRM systems that double as spyware…

    Asset Managers, Archivists, Historians, Academic Community…

    Victims of misapplied, over-aggressive and wrongheaded DMCA suits.

    Should I go on?

  5. Podesta, you forgot some…

    People who complain loudly and consistently about DRM are:

    Creators of digital works, that don’t want controls slapped without their permission.

    People to whom have had their paid-content stolen back, when it fails to identify a device. Audible owes me $150 plus. Will I ever see it? No.

    Regular consumers that hate to fiddle. Average Joes complain, beeeeeeeeeelive me. People don’t want geek complexity and DRM fiddlings.

    People who bought Sony malware CDs. Umm, me. And others that have had DRM wreck havoc on other technologies.

    Anyone who has ever used MS Reader… ;)

    Fortune 500′s to which a flawed product activation scheme caused serious havoc. (WGA and others). And Turbotax for consumers.

    DRM systems that double as spyware…

    Asset Managers, Archivists, Historians, Academic Community…

    Victims of misapplied, over-aggressive and wrongheaded DMCA suits.

    Should I go on?

  6. Hacks don’t really count for the purpose of this. YOu cannot just play .m4p music on Linux without circumventing the DRM and therefore violating the terms of the license agreement.

    As well, your opinion on the people who are against DRM is stereotyped and rather inaccurate.

  7. Hacks don’t really count for the purpose of this. YOu cannot just play .m4p music on Linux without circumventing the DRM and therefore violating the terms of the license agreement.

    As well, your opinion on the people who are against DRM is stereotyped and rather inaccurate.

  8. John, I have no desire to play Fairplay DRM content in Linux. But, if I did, there are hacks that would allow me to. As an open source leader recently said, the problem here is with the open source community. It needs to get over itself and cooperate with some purveyors of proprietary software. It could start with iTunes.

    My greater point is that the people who complain loudly and consistently about DRM are:

    1) Peer to peer types who don’t want to pay for anything; or

    2) Open source folks upset over their marginalization in comparison to Apple; or

    3) People who don’t use iTMS or other download services, often for generational reasons. They are carping about something that they are theoretically opposed to.

    The people who use iTMS are, generally, happy campers.

  9. John, I have no desire to play Fairplay DRM content in Linux. But, if I did, there are hacks that would allow me to. As an open source leader recently said, the problem here is with the open source community. It needs to get over itself and cooperate with some purveyors of proprietary software. It could start with iTunes.

    My greater point is that the people who complain loudly and consistently about DRM are:

    1) Peer to peer types who don’t want to pay for anything; or

    2) Open source folks upset over their marginalization in comparison to Apple; or

    3) People who don’t use iTMS or other download services, often for generational reasons. They are carping about something that they are theoretically opposed to.

    The people who use iTMS are, generally, happy campers.

  10. Really Podesta? Okay, go play DRM’d iTunes content on Linux. You have fun with that.

    Also, you can’t directly rip DRM’d iTMS purchases to MP3 CDs. You have to burn it to Audio CDs, then re-rip it to MP3. A minor set of steps, and there is some loss in fidelity, but you can’t just go from .m4p to .mp3 directly.

    While Apple is more open about the platforms you can play iTMS purchases on than Microsoft is, (Apple supports three actually: Windows, Mac OS X, and Motorola, whereas Microsoft and WM only support 1: Microsoft), as of yet, they still don’t support Linux or any other Unix for that matter.

    So they’re better by far than anything the Windows Media team can try to PR away, but they’re far from letting you play your iTMS purchases on “any” OS.

    Do keep the facts in mind here, hmm?

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