Monday, October 29, 2007

Ou My God!

Over on The! Supersite! For! Windows!, I wrote the following:

"George Ou casts a light on a dirty little secret for Microsoft: It's* Windows Media DRM platform was open to the world for a whopping three months. I have just have one question here. What took so long?"
Actually, I already know the answer, but my corporate overlords at The! Supersite! For Windows! won't let me blog about it there. But I have no such restrictions here, so I'll tell you the truth now.

The major labels ignored this problem because they hoped Microsoft's service would pick up some steam. Remember that in his ridiculously self-serving "Thoughts on Music" manifesto, Apple Inc. King For Life Steve Jobs intoned:
"...a key provision of our agreements with the music companies is that if our DRM system is compromised and their music becomes playable on unauthorized devices, we have only a small number of weeks to fix the problem or they can withdraw their entire music catalog from our iTunes store."

My sources at Microsoft tell me that the labels weren't too upset about the breaking of Microsoft's DRM because it would probably mean more people would sign up for the subscription service in order to get "oodles" (their exact word) of free music. They intended to use the rising subscription rates as leverage in their ongoing negotiations with Apple.

Microsoft just waited the required "small number of weeks" to post the fix that they obviously had in hand from almost day one. It's not like these guys can't create a patch. They're not incompetent, after all.

But for some reason, word never got out, and the service never really gained any traction.

Still, you at least know the truth. Microsoft wasn't incompetent, they were just playing it smart.


* Yes, I know that there's no apostrophe in a possessive its. I just don't give a fuck. Obviously.

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