Microsoft Corp. has unveiled the features of the next version of its Windows Media digital rights management (DRM) software, and announced early adopters of the platform, including online music and movie services, entertainment companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, and chip makers. Microsoft's next generation of Windows Media DRM technology is designed to make new scenarios possible, such as protecting, delivering, and playing subscription-based or on-demand digital music and video. These scenarios span Windows-based PCs and devices, including portable audio devices, Portable Media Centers, cellular phones, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) such as Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs and Smartphones, and networked devices connected within the home, including those that connect over a wireless network.
The next version of Windows Media DRM will offer new features designed to improve the user experience and offer music and video services the flexibility to implement new business models. These features cover a range of user scenarios. For instance, license chaining makes it easier for licenses to be renewed, and support for secure time clocks and metering make it possible for services to offer subscription content to portable devices for transfer and playback for the first time. In addition, improved license synchronization and license store performance make it easier and faster for consumers to manage and access their music.