Microsoft Announces Yet Another DRM Nobody Really Wants
from the snorrrrre dept
Despite Bill Gates' supposed lack of fondness for DRM, Microsoft continues to build copy-protection technology that might mollify content providers, but doesn't really do much for end users. A few years ago, it released its PlaysForSure system, which it licensed to a number of device manufacturers and was supposed to ensure that compatible content could be played across a bunch of devices. Like most DRM schemes, it was broken when its subscription features were cracked, and Microsoft eventually moved away from it, choosing not even to support it in its Zune media device. But the company has now announced a new DRM system aimed at mobile phones to annoy users and restrict what they can do with legitimately purchased content. Called PlayReady (they're getting creative), the platform-agnostic technology supports the use of "domains," which will supposedly allow users to copy content to multiple registered devices they own -- but, of course, it will be limited by who sold them the content and who controls it. The company notes that so far, PlayReady is just a "foundation technology," but hopes to roll it out in a product sometime in the first half of the year, and it's already garnered the support of several mobile operators for it. Of course, while the company says that it will allow users to put content on multiple devices, it will be rather difficult to get many old devices they already own to support this new flavor of DRM, rather undermining that claim.