Microsoft launches new DRM

PlayReady will share content between devices.


Microsoft swam deeper into the murky DRM waters today when it announced a new DRM system at the 3GSM show in Barcelona that will allow users to share protected content between multiple devices. Users of PlayReady would be able to register multiple devices to a "domain" that would act as a forum for that user's content. When a wireless carrier or Internet service provider signs up with PlayReady, its customers could then use PlayReady to purchase content and share it with other domain-registered devices multiple times. Apparently there are no restrictions on what kind of devices you can use with PlayReady, even a smart phone with an operating system other than Windows Mobile could work. We're not sure about when it will be available but Verizon Wireless has signed up as a partner already.

While it all sounds interesting we can't help but think of a few questions. First off, is this a serious Microsoft initiative that will result in a real product, or is it just a way to throw a bone into the DRM discussion? Also, will it be compatible with Microsoft's other DRMs, the Zune-only system or PlaysForSure? Unfortunately we can't say right now. Microsoft's press release is long on marketing speak but short on details.

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).


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