Monday, September 30, 2002

XBox fantasies continued

EG wrote in about my recent post on the XBox arguing that there was something more to Microsoft's entry into the console bizness than self gratification. He pointed to a rather excellent k5 article outlining how the XBox, like Palladium, is a DRM system for secure, restricted content deployment, and as such competes against Sony's PS2.

He raises an excellent point. While Microsoft touts Palladium as saving consumers from SPAM, in reality it does no such thing and instead creates a safe environment for content vendors to deploy their wares. Never say Microsoft doesn't support its developer community. The fact that such an environment would exclude GPL'd software (because its security cannot be similarly gauranteed to Hollywood) is an accidental, but fortunate, by-product of providing a safe platform for content vendors.

This whole topic raises many issues, including just how importance "convergence" is going to be, the opportunity for collusion in standards settings, and how economic rent might be split between a secure platform vendor and content vendor. I'll deal with them in individual posts in the days to come.


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