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What’s wrong with DRM, and ‘better support’

Copyright: Cory Doctorow’s DRM talk presented to MS research yesterday. This is a fantastic introduction to the issues regarding DRM; if you know someone who isn’t convinced that DRM is A Bad Thing, this is the argument they need to read.

OSes: /.: France Considers Open Source. The usual arguments are going on in the comments, but some people still insist that they get better support from MS than from Linux vendors.

What planet are they on? Because it would have been handy for me to live there, on the occasions in the past where I’ve had to develop code on MS platforms, and administer networks of Windows PCs. In my experience, you do not get support from Microsoft. Instead, you do what you do with Linux — go searching on Google, read MSDN, or post in the MSDN forums.

As far as I can see, there’s zero difference between doing that with Windows, and doing exactly the same thing with Red Hat — except in the latter case, you can turn up debug logging through a documented API or switch, use the source and fix it yourself, find the original developers and post a message to their core -dev list, or even ask them personally.

Where’s this amazing support? Maybe the companies I’ve worked for just weren’t paying enough, and therefore weren’t significant blue-chip customers. Or maybe it’s because we weren’t based in the US, and so got support from less-skilled, less high-priority staff in a regional office. But I’ve certainly never experienced the support these advocates claim MS offers, which makes me think it’s FUD as usual.