Old DVD Drives Wanted

The Windows Vista team are going to stop supporting “old” DVD drives. By “old”, they mean the ones which have no hardware region checking and so can be made multi-region simply by applying software hacks. The main reason for this, apparently, is that they don’t have very many working drives like that any more.

Clearly, this has nothing to do with the entertainment industry trying to get more of a lock on world trade in DVDs. So, I call on everyone who’s got a pre-2000 machine sitting around with a DVD drive they don’t use to remove it, package it up and send it to The Windows Vista DVD Hardware Support Testing Department, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA, 98052-6399, USA. I’m sure that, if we all did that, they’d keep supporting our hardware. Right? :-)

10 thoughts on “Old DVD Drives Wanted

  1. The blog post says that there would be very few drives made before 2000 still in working condition – so it is not worth supporting. If you send your old working drive to Microsoft, it still does not change this fact. Since Microsoft is a business, they need to take such decisions. In any case, why would someone running Vista use a pre-2000 drive?

  2. This isn’t a big deal. Seriously, people need to cut MS *some* slack. – No I am not an MS Zealot, nor a fanboy, or someone from the company posting. I use WinXP, have tested linunx (and believe it or not I like it a lot). I was recently reading some recent articles about Windows/MS/Vista/Blackcom/Singularity and one thing they pointed out was that MS is always trying to keep backward compadability with software/hardware, they have to keep extra baggage which means more code-> buggy code which = more problems and so forth. The article looked at the Mac OS and how after a few years they completely dumped it and started fresh, as in from OS9 they moved to a BSD base.

    MS needs to be able to do this, just like dump 16bit support and dumb DOS like they already have. By making complaints like this and then having comments saying “Just one more reason to switch to Linux then…” well, that is kind of contradictory. You switch to linux because Windows is buggy because it supports older stuff, but if it doesn’t you also say switch to Linux.

    Sure, Linux has heaps to offer, but look at avergae home users, linux is still not for them as Asa Dotzler examined in his blog a few months ago. Until then Windows will be the standard. This whole Linux vs Windows thing is stupid and counter productive especially for Linux.

    Let MS try and move forward, after all, there is reason enough they will fall apart in a few years by themselves without these petty and useless attacks. Let Linux focus on their own business so that when MS does collapse they will be there to take over?

  3. I’m going to ignore the smiley, and assume it’s a sign of the kind of self-indulgent sarcasm generated when people who haven’t the faintest idea about how large companies make decisions feel clever for inventing a conspiracy theory about the entertainment industry.

    Quite frankly, if you are concerned and surprised that your six-year-old hardware won’t give you the fullest multimedia experience under a demanding operating system, you’re dangerously clueless.

    Here are two points that aren’t conveyed well by your panic:
    1) the drives are still supported for data, but they won’t play all video discs.
    2) the Vista team claim that this will improve reliability for real-world users.

    Whose interest does your appeal serve? Of all the things to complain about, why have you chosen one of the most insignificant? You only need to read the replies to that blog entry to see that there’s not a lot of dissenting voices.

    On the other hand, sending your drive to them would presumably require that you purchase a new one, which would also eliminate the problem. I argue that the more drives sent to Microsoft, the fewer working drives there are in circulation, which protects consumers from confused individuals who should be posting to slashdot and testing new Linux distros.

  4. Jim: clearly, the smiley does indicate that I’m not, in fact, recommending that people send their drives to Microsoft. Did you think I thought there really was a “Windows Vista DVD Hardware Support Testing Department”? Nor do I think it’s a particularly big deal – I would hope the tone of my post conveys that. I’m merely pointing out that it’s rather hard to believe that making it harder for people to avoid region coding wasn’t even a factor in their decision.

  5. Presumably this will prevent modern DVD drives with region-free firmware applied from playing *any* region-locked DVDs, so I don’t think this can be called insignificant (unless you live in region 1 where there is presumably no need to import foreign DVDs). Hopefully though, the software solutions will continue to work making this a non-issue in reality.

  6. I was unaware that VLC could play DVDs from different regions. I’ll have to try that (if I ever get a DVD from a different region).