"Microsoft revealed today that no 32-bit versions of Windows Vista
will be able to play back “next generation high definition protected
This is the opening paragraph for this
article over at apcstart.com. The article talks about how Steve Riley,
a Senior Program Manager at MS, gave a presentation at TechEd 2006
about how 32-bit Vista (v32) will not playback HD-DVD or BlueRay
First off, let me say that I don't see how this is
possible. "Next generation" hd content plays in XP, if you have the
right hardware and software. Unless MS is removing some underlying
functionality there, I don't see how they could stop it from working.
it is possible, and somehow v32 cannot playback protected HD content,
this could have a serious impact. How will will your Best Buy or Dell
consumer know that they need to buy their new PC with v64 instead of
v32? What happens when they get it home all excited about their new
WMC and find that there's a major feature set difference b/w the two.
The issue with v64 is that only drivers that have been approved and
digitally signed by MS will install and run. And according to Riley,
this is exactly the reason why this feature will be missing in v32.
OEM's will solve this problem by only selling v64 on their WMC line of
computers, using v32 in the "Home Basic" line. But with the
upgradablity features built into Vista there could be a lot of "Home
Basic" users out there that feel ripped off when they don't get the
same Vista experience as the v64 folks.
If the OEMS do go with a
v64 approach, will they disclose to their buyers that they won't be
able to run hardware that isn't "approved" by MS? If they don't go
with v64, how will they explain to their customers that their brand new
PC can't play HD-DVD?
like this news created quite a stir (as it should), and there have been
clarifications and assertions on the topic from some well known and well placed people.
down, it looks like Vista won't do anything to restrict playback of
"next generation" content, but it will be up to the software/hardware
makers to make it work. Perhaps what Riley was driving at in his
talk was that the people who need to enable "next generation" content
with their offerings won't be offering 32bit versions of the bits that
make it go. Or maybe he was wrong.