Recently it emerged that Microsoft is removing the "kill switch" from Vista.
When you install Vista, Microsoft claims that you consent to being spied upon, through the "Windows Genuine Advantage" system. This system tries to identify instances of copying that Microsoft thinks are illegitimate. This system includes a "kill switch" which allows Microsoft to remotely deactivate your copy of Vista. This deactivation, whether deliberate or by accident -- as has been the case in some 500,000 cases already according to a study last year -- locks you out of your computer, and forces you to contact Microsoft to get access to your files.
While they may have now ostensibly removed the kill switch from Vista, they have not updated the hostile license they say you must agree to in order to use Vista. Vista still restricts your freedom, because freedom at the whim of someone else is not freedom.
Vista still enforces Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) -- technologies that companies like Disney, Warner, Netflix, Universal, Apple, Sony, Amazon, Fox and Microsoft are trying to impose on us all in order to have control over how our computers are used.
The public backlash that led to the kill switch in Vista being "removed" is a sign that people want software freedom. Today, Microsoft cannot offer people what they want. Thankfully, all is not lost -- free software distributions of the GNU/Linux operating system offer that freedom today. One lesson we should all take from this is that if we speak loudly enough, and demand software freedom, it can have results. But we also shouldn't be fooled -- Microsoft has just hidden the kill switch behind its back, still claiming the authority to use it. More pressure is still needed, and the only thing that will work in the end is for Microsoft to release their software under a license that respects the freedom of computer users.