Proprietary vendors are using "anti-features", features that no user would
ever want, to protect intellectual property, Benjamin “Mako” Hill, from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the open source
conference last month.

But IP protection is only one of several reasons vendors introduce such
features into their products.

An anti-feature serves the interests of the vendor, he says, not the user. A
typical example is the set of limitations placed on the Home Basic version of
Microsoft’s Vista operating system; these restricted memory and disk-storage
support and limited the user to at most three concurrent applications using the
graphical user interface, Hill says.

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