An Apple a Day

By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2004-05-07 Print this article Print

Its the use cases that will drive this digital transition, not the fear of loss of digital rights. Once the end user adopts the technology, the business case will follow. Thats always been Microsofts path to the enterprise, starting with Office 97s push past IT and emulated by AOL with its instant messaging client.
Ironically, Apples DRM strategy has paved the way for Microsofts success. By clarifying an acceptable fair use model, Jobs has brought the entertainment companies into the conversation and provided a roadmap for Microsoft to hew to: Satisfy the consumer, and then build an enterprise market across the federated devices.
Think Im wrong? Just listen to Jim Allchin, the power behind both Number Ones in Redmond: "And together were the ecosystem. Its not like another company whos manufacturing all the hardware and all the software, and they have time to just lock it in a proprietary way. They can make it very good. Thats not the best thing for the industry, but you can make a very good experience. We have to work together in order to make sure there are no gaps." Hes talking to hardware developers, sure. But Microsoft is also talking to customers these days, and as long as they do that first, theyll succeed—in the long run. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging Center at for more on collaboration and messaging technologies. Be sure to add our messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:   For more collaboration coverage, check out Steve Gillmors Blogosphere.

Steve Gillmor is editor of's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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