EFF’s Seth Schoen has a series of articles on hardware encryption support that is coming in the next version of Windows. This is a must-read for anyone planning on continuing to use Windows over the next few years. [Microsoft Trusted Computing Updates](http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/003804.php), [The Dangers of Device Authentication](http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/003805.php), [Protected Media Path, Component Revocation, Windows Driver Lockdown](http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/003806.php), [Microsoft Sells Out the Public on CGMS-A](http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/003807.php)
In the near future, when you try to install software to time-shift your favorite Real Audio webcast, your PC might disable all media player applications. Until you remove the software, your PC will remain crippled. Or perhaps you want to watch a downloaded movie on a wide-screen TV, but your PC might turn off its video card’s analog output.
Welcome to the world of Windows Longhorn (now known as Vista) and the Protected Media Path, where Microsoft, copyright holders, and DRM licensors may grant or revoke permission to use your own computer and digital media.
According to announcements at 2005 Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will go to great lengths to prevent users from tinkering with their own software environments. The proximate cause of the new restrictions is a scheme called Protected Media Path (PMP), which helps Longhorn make DRM for audio and video significantly stronger.