Sunny Steve Ballmer hopped over on Sunday, an opportunity that left me happy to cut the lawn for the last time this year (one hopes) and have a pleasant day at home. Others though went to hear him hold forth on how digital devices for the living room are at ‘tipping point’ – a statement I don’t find remotely true. The tipping point will come when many, many more have PVRs, which they’ll get separately, and then want to wire them to their computer, which will be in a different room.
But the quote I found remarkable was this, from ZDNet’s report: Microsoft’s chief executive clearly wants to position Microsoft as the good guy in the market, and was at pains to try and position Apple as soft on the principles behind DRM.
“We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.
Excuse me?? What an incredibly insulting thing to say about (a) a rival (b) potential customers. “You’re all thieves! And you use junk!” That’s sure to get them piling in, Steve.
Here’s the rest of his quote: “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, easier, to use.”
Quite apart from the fact that the ‘better’ your DRM is, the harder it is to use (by definition), I’d love to know how many people have found themselves locked out of their WMA-fformatted music collection, or their Windows XP installation, after an OS or part re-install.
And I’d *really* love to see some sales figures for Media Center PCs. Hey, we could compare them wiht iPod sales.