[URL]http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2006/01/29/82032.aspx[/URL]\n\nMy (Thomas Hawk) Dinner With Microsoft Exec Jim Allchin\n\nThomas Hawk got the chance to have dinner with Jim Allchin again a few days\nago. I would encourage everyone to read Thomas' write-up since I'm only\ngoing to cover part of it.\n\nThomas: "Although as a platform Vista has been approved by CableLabs at this\npoint, an important step that will still be necessary for the PC/CableCARD\nreality is CableLab's approval for finished individual OEM PCs as well.\nAlthough Vista has been approved, OEMs will in fact still need to get their\nindividual machines certified by CableLabs as well. Central to this\ncertification according to Jim is the idea of a "protective path." "\n\nSo, Allchin has confirmed that OEM PCs as a whole will have to be certified.\nThis likely means that you will not be able to build a PC yourself that will\nwork with CableCARDs. Apparently Jim said "protective path" is a big part\nof this, and if you have ever read my blog you should know a thing or two\nabout that.\n\nThomas: "Getting something approved through CableLabs is no easy task and\nthis will very much favor the larger OEMs who have the funds, resources and\nclout to get this done. Jim said to expect to see the CableLabs approved PCs\nout from the big guys first but reiterated his commitment to smaller OEMs in\nfighting for them to also get their machines CableLabs approved as well. Jim\nsaid that Microsoft would fight clawing and scratching for these smaller\nOEMs. It will be interesting to see between now and Fall what that will\nmean."\n\nFunds? Interesting part there. Are we to think that for a PC to be\ncertified it will have to be submitted to CableLabs on approved testing\ndates and pay to have it tested? I don't remember the amount, but having a\nproduct tested by CableLabs comes with a rather large price tag.