Microsoft Follows Apple on DRM-Free Downloads
UPDATE: The bloggadelic response to this has been predictably huge-- perhaps this will help MS in their quest for music-player market share after all-- their overly-DRM'ed Zune was so "secure" it could not even play Windows Media files, making it a pirates-only device!
PREVOUSLY: Microsoft's attempts to catch up whit the ubiquitous iPod resulted in great news for legal downloaders, as Redmond giant eschewed DRM for its Zune download service.
Following digital music pioneer Apple Inc.'s lead, Microsoft Corp. said it will soon sell digital music online without digital rights management (DRM) protection.
Microsoft's apparent change of heart on selling DRM-free music came in response to Apple's deal earlier in the week to sell unprotected content from recording company EMI Group PLC. The company previously claimed that DRM was necessary for current and emerging digital media business models.
"The EMI announcement on Monday was not exclusive to Apple," said Katy Asher, a Microsoft spokeswoman on the Zune team, in an e-mail to the IDG News Service today. She said Microsoft has been talking with EMI and other record labels "for some time now" about offering unprotected music on its Zune players in an effort to meet the needs of its customers.
"Consumers have made it clear that unprotected music is something they want," Asher said. "We plan on offering it to them as soon as our label partners are comfortable with it."
I'm leaving the "changed [their] tune" puns alone, as other writers have beaten me to it.