Microsoft's Response to the above article: Windows Vista Content Protection - Twenty Questions (and Answers)
I've been watching this train wreck approach for a long long time now. The first link above is the best and most comprehensive writeup of the concerns regarding the numerous Vista DRM 'features' I've seen yet. This is a hubris/greed issue, plain and simple. The media companies are greedy for their holy grail: to reduce us to renters/leasers of their media only. Microsoft agreed to their proposal years ago (before they even determined how they would design the system) out of greed to dominate the distribution channel at the lowest or infrastructure level. They dream of a monopoly similar to your local utility companies, but for movies and music and t.v. shows. Both companies have exhibited extreme hubris. The media companies have done so in that they believe that this move even if they manage to be successful at it will ensure their empires continue in perpetuity. Microsoft's hubris is of a slightly different nature, that hardware and software vendors will stand for it in the long run; and that the customers (we the people) will just shrug and accept the situation without seeking other options that allow the same freedoms and ease of use we currently enjoy.
This is not a short-term battle. Over the next 2-3 years as people start to purchase new computers they will end up with Vista by default. Then over time they will recognize what has been lost. All the while the early adopters and high-end techies will have been working on alternatives. Eventually, the demand for the alternatives will reach critical mass, then something will change. We cannot predict what the alternatives will be nor how things will change, it's far too early to tell.
What we can know is that most hardware purchases today are useless for the display of protected media. We must keep in mind that just because HDDVD and Blu-Ray disks are available for purchase does not ensure they are viewable at their enhanced resolution. Please understand that this situation is markedly different than the VHS to DVD transition of the past 10 or so years.