Microsoft recently held a get together for a small group of
high-profile bloggers ahead of the Mix Conference. The bloggers has full access
to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in an hour-long Q&A session and were able
to fire off any question under the sun that they wanted to ask.
30GB Zune player having been recently released to go head-to-head with
Apple's ever-dominant iPod,
a topic of discussion pointed towards Digital Rights Management (DRM).
Surprisingly, Gates was quite frank on the situation and expressed his disappointment
in the overall situation with DRM.
According to Michael Arrington of TechCrunch,
Gates noted that DRM "causes too much pain for legitimate buyers" and
overall is not an effective solution. He went on to say that "DRM is not
where it should be, but you won’t get me to say that there should be usage
models and different payment models for usage. At the end of the day, incentive
systems do make a difference, but we don’t have it right with incentives or
There’s also an overall disillusionment with consumers in
regards to DRM media files. Music files purchased on iTunes can't be used on Windows
Media “PlaysForSure” devices like the SanDisk's Sansa players or Creative's Zen
lineup. Even more shocking to the system is that PlaysForSure music files and
services won't work with Microsoft's own Zune players. Instead, Zune users have
to purchase their content from Zune Marketplace.
When it comes to music files, Bill Gates simply had this to
say in summary; “People should just buy a CD and rip it. You are legal then.”