Late last week, I was inspired to write a Declaration of InDRMpendence (declaring my freedom from Digital Restrictions Management [DRM] technology) by my good friend who mistakenly recommended Sonos' wireless-mesh based whole home audio system. He was certain that it could play all of the songs he's purchased through iTunes as long as he hooked on Sonos device to one of the PCs in his house running iTunes.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
The Google-Sun collaboration has kept us busy the last two days--trying to figure out what was in the works and now deciphering the actual announcement. There was rampant speculation that Google would launch an MS Office killer based on OpenOffice bits, but that wasn't even close.
During the Google-Sun press conference [Stephen Shankland's coverage here] [video clip here], Eric Schmidt was asked about Google’s plans to take on Microsoft in the applications space. He basically responded that Google is a search company that sells ads.
As my colleague Dan Farber has already pointed out, News.com's Stephen Shankland has penned an analysis piece that pretty much exhausts all of the possibilities that could come out of a Sun-Google partnership (being announced as I press the publish button).
I'm forbidden to do something that is otherwise perfectly legal -- access my own music in a fashion that is convenient to me but that does not otherwise violate the copyright.
What's Sun gonna do, tell him to get in line behind Microsoft?
The recent move by Microsoft to support PDF in Office 12 has some asking whether or not that will pour oil on troubled waters and allow Massachusetts government employees to go on using Word to edit and store documents. By my reading of the Massachusetts Enterprise Technical Reference Manual (ETRM), the policy that governs data formats and standards for the State, PDF won't work.
It's three hours before the Google-Sun press gaggle. News.
As I've already written several times before in our series on Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), every time one of us buys another piece of DRMed content (eg: a song from iTunes), we are securing the legacy of the DRM cartel while giving it carte blanche to arbitrarily decide how we get to use the content that we're legally entitled to use in any way we want, as long as we use it for ourselves.
In an interview conducted by news.com's Ina Fried, Steve Sinofsky, the Microsoft senior vice president in charge of Office, noted that his company had received 120,000 user requests for PDF support, which the company just announced for Office 12, but no demand for the OpenDocument Format (ODF), which represents the idea that Microsoft's file formats need to be more open.