Microsoft to also offer DRM-free music

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft is jumping on the DRM-free music bandwagon and will be offering unprotected EMI songs in its Zune Marketplace.  Jason Reindorp, Zune’s head of marketing, announced the move, but didn’t add any specific pricing or timeline.  He added that Microsoft has been advocating DRM-free music for quite a while.

This is surprising because one of  the main tenets of the Zune MP3 product was the strict adherence to DRM.  Music transferred to the Zune follows the rule of three, that is three plays or three days whatever comes first.

In recent months, Microsoft officials including Bill Gates have been softening their stances on DRM.  Back in December 2006, Gates told bloggers in Redmond, WA that there are “huge problems” with DRM and even advocated just buying CDs and converting the music tracks to MP3s.