Microsoft has already applied for a patent for a DRM operating system but would not say if the DRM server would be based on this. In an interview last week with eWeek, Jim Allchin, Microsofts group vice president for platforms, said a DRM server is but one of three server infrastructure applications coming next year (see interview).Some potential DRM customers tentatively welcomed Microsofts plan. Dave DeBona, a technical consultant working for a catalog and Web retailer in Columbus, Ohio, said DRM initiatives will enable the multibranded company to better protect its brand assets in a proactive way, as opposed to the current legal alternatives. "But, of course, any technology can be twisted and misdirected. Anyone proclaiming to protect assets for others is scary. We typically feel safer guarding our own chicken coop," DeBona said. "We will evaluate Microsofts DRM offering, with extra attention paid to security. A healthy dose of skepticism never hurts." John Persinger, an internal network administrator for Source4 Inc., in Roanoke, Va., said Microsoft will likely try to "crush any DRM competition." If successful, that would leave some 80 percent of those "digital assets" in its control, Persinger said. "While I wont use the word monopoly, you can see the dangers of that type of widespread control," he said. ´ Additional reporting by Dennis Fisher and Mary Jo Foley, editor of Ziff Davis Microsoft Watch newsletter
"You can expect to see wide betas for Greenwich, the second version of SharePoint Team Services and the work we are doing in DRM, which is another server thats going to come out," Allchin said.