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Microsoft Shows Off New DRM Technology

PlayReady, Microsoft's new, broad-reaching digital rights management technology, promises to meet the needs of mobile operators and handset manufacturers for digital entertainment. It will support multiple content types in a way that's flexible for everyone as consumer interest in mobile digital media increases rapidly.
PlayReady, Microsoft's new, broad-reaching digital rights management technology, promises to meet the needs of mobile operators and handset manufacturers for digital entertainment. It will support multiple content types in a way that's flexible for everyone as consumer interest in mobile digital media increases rapidly.Microsoft says the new DRM technology, which it claims is compatible with a bazillion different file formats, is the result of an extended dialog with all types of players in the mobile industry. The solution is meant to enable a broad spectrum of business models such as subscription, rental and pay-per-view, which can be applied to many digital content types and a wide range of audio and video formats. It also promises to make it easier for consumers to move content between devices and platforms.

This is important because the flood of mobile content coming our way hasn't even really begun to trickle yet. While people download movies for their iPods or other handheld devices here and there, the nearly-available mobile video and music delivery systems mean we'll have more content spread over more platforms (smartphones, laptops, desktops, in-vehicle systems, your watch) than we may know what to do with. Anything the enables easier transitions between devices and platforms is welcome news.

"We believe Microsoft PlayReady technology will accelerate deployment this year of many services that carriers see as important for the next generation of wireless communications," said Jim Ryan, vice president of data services at Cingular Wireless in a press release. "Microsoft's digital media expertise and its balance between the needs of the carriers and the interest of consumers is a very positive step for the delivery of mobile entertainment."

PlayReady should be available in the first half of 2007.