Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Screw 'em redux

If the product planners at Microsoft are half as astute as I think they are, you will soon be able to buy nearly any kind of digital content using their "Live" services via your Xbox 360/Media Center PC combo. And I'm not talking about just audio and video. This is how they are going to beat Sony - it won't matter the the Xbox 360 has 'only' a standard DVD drive, if no one buys pre-recorded media anymore. Want the next Halo? Click 'buy' on your 360, and the code package gets delivered to your Media Center PC, all nicely protected by DRM, and the Xbox 360 can pull the code from there - no media required. Spiderman 3? Same thing. If they do this right, the Xbox 360/Media Center PC/Xbox Live combination can completely re-invent how we access digital content of all types. And with Microsoft's proven track record of using DRM in ways we can live with, unlike Sony and most of the entertainment industry, I'm willing to bet that people find the value proposition with Microsoft much better than what Apple will offer. I don't want to be locked into iPods. If we have to have DRM, and I don't see any way around that, at least let's have DRM from a company who understands that once we buy content, we should be free to move it between our various devices.


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