Microsoft to Expand DRM Push With Server

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-09-16 Print this article Print

Microsoft is pushing further into digital rights management with a plan for a DRM server due to go into beta testing later this year.

Microsoft Corp. is pushing further into digital rights management with a plan for a DRM server due to go into beta testing later this year.

DRM technology enables content creators, such as record companies, to encrypt content and define who can decrypt it and how they can use it. Microsoft is counting on increasing adoption of the technology to help drive demand for many of its current and future products.

The company currently offers a DRM system, Microsoft Windows Media Rights Manager, which is being used by seven music and video subscription services. But its fate, once the DRM server is released, is not clear, as Microsoft sees a broader opportunity for the DRM server solution.

"Personal information such as medical and financial data; corporate information such as legal and business documents; and commercial content such as software, music and movies may all require DRM," said a Microsoft spokeswoman, in Redmond, Wash.

Other company officials are positioning the DRM server as an attempt to define read and write privileges more broadly than they are currently defined.

Bill Veghte, corporate vice president for the Windows .Net Server group, last week said that there are several "services" Microsoft will layer on top of Windows .Net Server 2003, as they will not be ready when the platform is released to manufacturing this year.

Microsofts goal is to find a way to incorporate a set of interfaces around DRM and its real-time communications server—code-named Greenwich—into the platform while still being able to develop and charge for solutions or services built on top of that.

This base code is likely to be made available to volume licensing customers on Microsofts regularly updated Select CD. Users who want DRM services could then layer this capability on top of any of the Windows .Net Server 2003 releases they want, Veghte said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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