You'd almost think that Microsoft PR has been handing out "talking points" to its executives lately (though, you get the feeling that Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates aren't exactly the type of folks who follow what PR tells them to say). Yesterday it was Steve Ballmer talking up the importance of copy protection and today it's Bill Gates spreading the gospel, according to the entertainment industry. All this after just saying how important it was to keep the customer in mind. Apparently the "customer" is the entertainment industry, because copy protection does nothing for the end user but take away features. Gates' stance is a little less confrontational than Ballmer's, noting that there needs to be a "balance" between unauthorized and authorized content (which he, incorrectly, calls "paid and stolen"). It's unfortunate, though, not surprising, that Microsoft's top two execs would view the world this way, not realizing there doesn't need to be such a dichotomy at all.
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