Skip to main content

Golden Rant : Microsoft DRM's gone too far

Microsoft appears to have hit the wrong button on its critical Windows XP download service late last month, pretty well forcing every XP user to upgrade to Windows Media Player (WiMP) 11 if they (like me and many others) have the automatic download/install option enabled for critical updates.

WiMP 11 was actually released to the public last October, but it's riddled with snafus. First on up you can't grab a frame from any videos that it plays using CTRL-i - or even using a third party application like Snagit.

But it gets worse. WiMP 11 won't allow you to back up any DRM licences for any reason. That includes DRM licences this wretched program hoovers up automatically for your existing library - regardless of whether the original download was DRM-enabled or not.

If your hard drive fails, you're knackered (that's a technical term btw...)

And if you subscribe to a premium TV download service, such as Sky Anywhere - formerly known as Sky via Broadband - it will play the movie and footy files. But only for three days, after which your files are toast as far as WiMP 11 is concerned.

Even though Sky Anywhere's DRM licences run from 7 to 28 days.

The only good thing abouy WiMP 11 is that you can uninstall the ghastly program in about 10 minutes. Microsoft calls this Rollback. I call it sanity restoration...