Microsoft Introduces New DRM

For every step forward, there is two steps backward. There has been a lot of discussion on both sides of the fence lately, but that hasn't stood in Microsoft's way of introducing PlayReady. This particular flavour is aimed at the mobile market, but I think it is relavant as mobile phones are now playing a much larger role in the digital home. PlayReady will work on their own formats and other formats such as H.264 and AAC. It will be backwards compatible with DMR 10 so your previously downloaded media should work just fine.

Press Release:

The result of extended dialogue with the mobile industry, Microsoft PlayReady technology enables a broad spectrum of business models such as subscription, rental, pay-per-view, preview and super-distribution, which can be applied to many digital content types and a wide range of audio and video formats. Content types supported include music, video, games, ring tones and images. Audio/video formats supported include Windows Media® Audio (WMA), AAC/AAC+/HE-AAC, Windows Media Video (WMV), and H.264. Microsoft PlayReady enhancements make it easier for consumers to move their content between their devices, giving them a new level of freedom with their digital content. This technology will be available in the first half of 2007 for handset and device implementation.

Wireless delivery of content to handsets continues to grow rapidly, underscoring the need for compatibility and interoperability. To address this requirement, Microsoft PlayReady has been designed to be fully backward compatible with Windows Media DRM 10, allowing devices that support Microsoft PlayReady to access content using Windows Media DRM. Microsoft will also provide an interoperability program so content may flow to qualifying DRM and content protection technologies.