[Beowulf] Sidebar: Vista Rant
James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Jul 18 13:05:30 EDT 2007
At 08:37 AM 7/18/2007, Robert G. Brown wrote:
>On Wed, 18 Jul 2007, Chris Samuel wrote:
>Actually, a link on this site:
>is like scarier than the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, version 1. Should be
>mandatory reading for all humans. It completely explains the slowdown
>-- Microsoft has installed what amounts to a content-controlled censor
>daemon. In fact, a whole set of the daemons. They all run, all of the
>time, doing really complicated things. Their purpose -- to shut off
>all access to content except through a rigorously controlled chain of
As previously mentioned, the *real money* is not in selling hardware
(someone can always build it for the same price you can), nor in OS
software (someone can get another OS cheaper). It's in entertainment
content. MS may be making tons o'bucks, but compared to the movie
studios, the music industry, and cable tv, etc, it's still small.
If you can figure out a way to deliver that content in a way that
a) keeps the content owner happy, as far as preventing illicit redistribution
b) provides a means to monetize the transaction
you will make a lot of money in the next few years.
So, what does Vista provide?
both (a) and (b)
(MS revenue, 2006, $44B.. net income $13B)
The average person spends roughly 3700 hours per year consuming
enetertainment, of which more than 3500 are some form of audio or
video (i.e. not reading)
Going to the theater and seeing a movie is a very tiny fraction of
this (on average), but still accounts for about $10B per year in the
US, and perhaps $25B world wide (2004 numbers) and this does not
include "adult" entertainment.
If you sum the revenues from the top 10 entertainment companies ,
it's well over $140B.
Consider this.. Netflix is a $1B company and the service they provide
is basically mailing DVDs back and forth. Say it costs $1 for them
to make a transaction (mailing and handling costs) over and above the
costs of acquiring the DVDs. Now, say, they have a way of
transporting the same information without having to pay postage (i.e.
via someone's internet connection, which netflix doesn't pay
for).. That helps Netflix's bottom line a lot, even if they have to
pay some "per use" fee for the privilege of using this secure
distribution medium (i.e. Vista) (note that Netflix sends out about
1M DVDs every day)
The real issue is setting the price..
MS to content owner: How much are you willing to pay us for our
secure distribution channel?
Content owner to MS: How much are you willing to pay *us* for access
to our content so people will buy your channel?
So what if the Vista computer is dog slow.. as long as it plays that
video without hiccups, nobody will care. The Vista computer is just
like a VCR.
James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
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