Sunday, July 17, 2005

Intel's new media platform exclusively for Microsoft

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Up to date, Intel was not the one who you see playing with Microsoft in the same sandbox. In fact, Intel was the one who would attempt to push Microsoft out of the sandbox and have little Linux hang around. Those days are going to be over with upcoming media platform codenamed East Fork. Basically, these two are coming up with a new copy protection model called Secure Premium Content Module (SPCM). Its main job will be on-the-fly decryption of content that is MS DRM. Yes, Microsoft is the head and tail of the list and surely they will make sure no one gets on it. All of this nastiness is made possible by so called East Fork platform driver which, in my understanding, is a piece of software done by Intel to take advantage of their CPU architecture and squeeze as much horsepower out of it as possible. Needless to say, there will be no other supported platforms except Windows Media Center 2006. It is said that Intel is doing this to get a kick back from Microsoft on advertisement spending of 300 million dollars. I can also add it is also about current relationship of Microsoft and AMD and this is the way Intel is trying to spoil it. Not that we care.

With all above said, you can see how easy it will be to convince recording studios to jump into this wagon and start releasing MS DRM-ed digital content.They are waiting for something like this like a pack of hungry wolves.

So, what does this mean to us, you ask.

First of all, as in all existing DRM situations, you buy digital music or video and you are locked to Microsoft’s codec complemented by Intel’s platform driver.Smells class action but Microsoft wouldn’t care.

Secondly, all other platforms, namely Linux and OSX are out. Folks who want to have Linux HTPC should reconsider and start making money not only for a new PC but also for DRM-ed content. Bummer. And you thought you had a good thing goingthere.

Lastly, video card requirements are not encouraging as well. Supported resolutions are up to 720p or 1080i. There is no support for1080p. Like I said before there is no 1080p source available at the moment but it will catch up pretty quickly. It would be nice to have equipment ready for the prime time.

One good thing though – instant on for these machines is promised and for now it is called Energy Lake.

Source: The Inquirer

While I was typing in this post Inquirer got slashdotted – read it here – interesting comments.

Posted by Mike at 2:48 PM

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