aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The MS Software Protection Platform
If you don’t like the mandatory antipiracy checks that Microsoft now enforces for Windows, brace yourself. The Microsoft Office productivity and collaboration suite is about to get a similar program.
The company’s Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) program will require mandatory validation of Office software starting October 27, the software vendor quietly disclosed today. After that date, any Office Online templates downloaded from within the Office 2007 Microsoft Office System applications will require validation of legitimacy.
Similarly, starting in January, users of Office Update will have to validate the legitimacy of their Office software before they can use the service, Microsoft added.
Users absolutely hated the first iteration of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program, and their protests pressured the company into revising it about a year after it launched in July 2005.
Microsoft has integrated this check directly into the next version of its OS, Windows Vista, as part of what it is calling a “Software Protection Platform.” Through that automatic validation system, a Vista user must activate his or her copy of the software with a valid activation key within 30 days after purchase of the software, or see the OS enter a reduced functionality mode. In that mode, users can browse the Web for an hour but then the system will log them out, and they will have to log in again if they want to browse more.
I get that they are protected by the First Amendment, but I have to wonder how they could possibly be effective? I’ve only been push-polled once, but half the time I answer the phone it is a recorded voice from the state Republican party or the local Republican candidates. My voice-mail is littered with these repeated and typically despicable attack ads.
I gather they’re confident that this works. It may, but I don’t get it. I guess if you’re already planning to vote for these guys (and yes, they are all white males) it might work as a reminder; it certainly isn’t changing any minds. Why aren’t people downright offended to be interrupted and assaulted by a recorded message that in its effort to be quick is just plain rude? I certainly am.
The future of GooTube and Comedy Central
I continue to be all riled up about the Comedy Central takedown demands. Cory Bergman notes that Viacom appears not to be going along with the CBS strategy of forming a strategic partnership with YouTube. Cory goes on to observe that “after all, browsing video on ComedyCentral.com is not the easiest of experiences.”
A year ago when MotherLoad launched I complained that Comedy Central just doesn’t get it. Their play was original content and doled out highlights. But what their audience wants is to instantly find - and share - what everyone’s talking about:
As a Massive Media entrant they’ve got to get their content out there. I’d choose to link to them—even as the site seems designed to discourage it (and is not Mac friendly)—they are the source. That is the future.
But for now it will be interesting to see if any of the original content takes off. I’d choose instead to keep the 2 channels, web and cable, closely linked and not go so much for web only content.
Today TV still drives audience to the web; tomorrow the web will drive the audience to the TV. The next day there will be no difference.
My thought today is… why not strike a deal where YouTube serves up all of the video on the Comedy Central site? Just as Google provides search for sites, YouTube should become the video host/provider.
But more, YouTube’s been thought of as a promotional vehicle for content; that’s the wrong construct. The real deal is it’s their technology that we use. We, the audience, do the promoting.
If YouTube embeds the player, the entire player can become the ad. No more interruption or ad clutter. And think of the opportunities for adwords like synchronization of product and content!
The end of mass audiences sitting and watching a broadcast show at the appointed hour does not have to mean the end of the shared cultural experience of all of us talking about that show around the water cooler. The change is in how we share the experience. Today’s audience is an active engaged participant.
I’d allow remixing too. Comedy Central and YouTube are demonstrating their takedown muscle. If a remix goes outside the bounds, they send the letters. But that’s a post for another day.