Thursday, June 19, 2008

Microsoft: The reluctant killers

Microsoft - they talk the big talk, but can they really pull the plug when they have to? XP has had more stays of execution than a governor's son represented by Alan Shaw; now the Plays For Sure DRM kill-off has been reversed:

Dear MSN Music customer,

On April 22, Microsoft notified you that as of August 31st, 2008, we would be changing the level of support for music purchased from MSN Music, and while your existing purchased music would continue to play, you would no longer be able to authorize new PCs and devices to play that music.

After careful consideration, Microsoft has decided to continue to support the authorization of new computers and devices and delivery of new license keys for MSN Music customers through at least the end of 2011, after which we will evaluate how much this functionality is still being used and what steps should be taken next to support our customers. This means you will continue to be able to listen to your purchased music and transfer your music to new PCs and devices beyond the previously announced August 31, 2008 date.

Clearly, nobody at Microsoft had forseen a public relations disaster in switching off a machine and forcing people who'd paid for music to choose between never upgrading their hardware again or losing their collection. Or, indeed, the great moral wrong.

Redmond must be hoping that by 2011 everyone will either have swapped to Zunes or be prepared to let the expensive Plays For Sure flop die quietly. And... oh. Nobody's reading any more, are they; they're all popping 'rag Micrsoft about Plays for Sure' into their online diaries for 30/11/11.