Please don’t get me wrong: I don’t think so either. For businesses and people using computers for mundane tasks, who are paranoid about security and are diligent about paying for digital rights, this is excellent news. It is obviously also great news for the TC purveyors.
Have you ever programmed, no matter which language? With TC this pleasure will be taken from you. If, in the first place, you can even obtain a development suite that will run on the TC platform, the programmes you write won’t run, at least not on any other PC. You’ll have to get those dreaded keys from the OEM (or a Trust Provider’s digital certificate) for any distribution of your work. Of course, you’ll have to pay for this privilege, possibly by way of a royalty. Ditto if you’re a musician or painter, wanting to distribute the equivalent of MP3s or JPEGs.
See, one of the main reasons that computing technology grew so enormous so quickly (less than 20 years) is that there were no DRM issues, and information could be freely exchanged. TC is an attempt to seal that hole and to milk it. Micro$oft in particular has a history of such attempts: making Internet Explorer inseparable from Windows, incomplete or inadequate API documentation, the fallout with Sun Microsystems over Java and the resulting emergence of .NET, and so on. Also, you may wish to check out Tom’s Hardware page, and read about some of Intel’s misdeeds with the P4. Yet, today people have simply accepted most of these things.
In principle I agree with you on the last part, but not entirely on the first. The reason it hasn’t yet been put in place completely is because there are still many legal and international trade issues that need to be ironed out - the EU has already agreed to the basics. Once full agreement is reached on these issues, the TC technology will be phased in over a period of time, simply by the sheer weight of its main proponents. It is I think unreasonable to expect that, say, the entirety of SA’s business will resist TC, and even if we did so concertedly, that it would succeed. The ordinary home user’s only real choice will be to avoid PCs altogether, something I don’t see happening either.
My main objection isn’t the basic philosophy of TC per se - I’d even call it basically admirable. It is the restrictions the technology enables that concerns me. But I also don’t think that anyone can predict exactly how this thing is going to work out.
This is not true at all. The three big ones (Intel, AMD and IBM) are already part of the deal. It doesn’t matter what peripheral hardware some small silicon shop in Malaysia or Korea produces because these devices simply won’t work at all with the new hardware if they aren’t TC compliant. Remember also that cloning ICs, e.g. CPUs and BIOSes, is very, very difficult without the appropriate schematics and/or dies. This last is the reason that Intel and AMD don’t patent their CPU designs anymore, and haven’t done so for more than ten years. By the time a competitor has managed to reverse-engineer your current state-of-the-art IC, you’ve already taken it forward a generation or two.
Whereas in the past the hardware-software interaction was one in which the technological needs of each spurred on development of the other, TC is not like that at all: the hardware, though capable of doing so, won’t accept non-compliant software, and vice versa.
DRM failed largely because it was the first attempt to exercise control over digital content, and no one had any experience in this area. Also, the technology wasn’t secure to begin with, and consequently couldn’t be properly administered and controlled in practice. In addition, the MPAA’s technical competence is questionable. TC doesn’t have a single limitation that is in any way similar. Trying to circumvent a TC platform will be akin to robbing a bank without removing anything from the vault.