Microsoft unveils PlayReady mobile DRM

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Microsoft unveils PlayReady mobile DRM

Single platform to ensure interoperability between Zune, mobile phone and PC.

Microsoft has unveiled a new digital rights management (DRM) technology dubbed PlayReady at the 3GSM show in Barcelona. 

The new DRM service provides operators and manufacturers with a single platform to manage digital media on wireless devices.

PlayReady allows operators to sell a broad range of media subscriptions, including subscription, rental, pay-per-view and preview services for music, ring-tones, games and wallpapers.

The platform supports the Windows Media audio and AAC/AAC+/HE-AAC audio formats and the Windows Media Video and h.264 video formats.

PlayReady will be implemented by a series of mobile operators including O2 and Telefónica. It will be available for use on handsets by the first half of this year.

Mobile ring-tone services have been commonplace for years and services offering downloads of full songs have been available through select mobile operators. But this content is often locked into the device on which it was purchased.

Microsoft claimed that its mobile DRM offers interoperability with the Windows Media 10 DRM used by the Rhapsody and Urge online music stores, allowing consumers to move their media content between devices.

The unveiling coincided with the release of Windows Mobile 6, the latest version of Microsoft's smartphone operating system.

The software offers an updated email client that displays messages in their original HTML format, and includes mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Microsoft said that the first Windows Mobile 6 devices would be available by the second quarter of this year.

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