Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer used a gathering of press in London to further the companys claims to be a friend of the music industry – and, in the process, attack the iPod.
Ballmer claimed that Windows Medias digital rights management system was the best way for content creators to ensure they get paid, and added that "the most common format of music on the iPod isstolen."
With the iPod the clear market leader in the hard drive-based portable music player category, Microsoft is attempting to push its digital rights management system as the ideal solution to the problem of piracy for content creators.
While the FairPlay system used iby Apples iTunes Music Store allows the user to copy bought tunes to any number of iPods, the most recent release of Windows Media allows stores to create subscription models for music on portable players, so that once a customer stops paying their subscription, they can no longer play songs on their portable player.
"Part of the reason people steal music is money, but some of it is that the DRM stuff out there has not been that easy to use. We are going to continue to improve our DRM, to make it harder to crack, and easier, easier, easier to use, claimed Ballmer.