PlayReady Debuts at 3GSM

3gsm_logo_12Microsoft  has taken the wraps off its PlayReady technology, a new multimedia content access technology optimised to meet the needs of mobile operators and handset manufacturers for digital entertainment and commerce.
Supporting multiple content types, and flexible rights, Microsoft PlayReady enables operators to provide a range of new services tailored towards growing consumer interest in mobile digital media. Microsoft says that leading mobile operators worldwide, including Telefnica, O2, Verizon Wireless, Bouygues Telecom, and Cingular Wireless, now the new AT&T, have indicated their plans to implement Microsoft PlayReady technology. In addition, Microsoft is working with mobile industry software developer PacketVideo to showcase a fully operational demonstration of Microsoft PlayReady for the first time, at the Microsoft stand at 3GSM, No. 1D19 in Hall 1.
Microsoft says that PlayReady technology is the result of extended dialogue with the mobile industry, and enables a broad spectrum of business models, including subscription, rental, pay-per-view, preview and super-distribution, which can be applied to many digital content types and a wide range of audio and video formats.
Content types supported include music, video, games, ring tones and images. Audio/video formats supported include Windows Media Audio (WMA), AAC/AAC+/HE-AAC, Windows Media Video (WMV), and H.264. Microsoft PlayReady enhancements make it easier for consumers to move their content between their devices, says Microsoft, giving them a new level of freedom with their digital content. The technology will be available in the first half of 2007 for handset and device implementation.
Wireless delivery of content to handsets continues to grow rapidly, underscoring the need for compatibility and interoperability. To address this requirement, Microsoft PlayReady has been designed to be fully backward-compatible with Windows Media DRM 10, allowing devices that support Microsoft PlayReady to access content using Windows Media DRM. Microsoft will also provide an interoperability programme, so that content may flow to qualifying DRM and content protection technologies.
Our wireless partners worldwide asked for a single system to power a growing array of business models and consumer scenarios says Amir Majidimehr, Corporate Vice President of Microsofts Consumer Media Technology group. The result is Microsoft PlayReady. With consumer demand for digital goods of all types growing exponentially, this technology delivers a foundation for the future and accelerates the transparent delivery of rich content to consumers.
Russ Shaw, director of Capability and Innovation at O2 UK adds:
Microsoft PlayReady technology will help accelerate deployment of our entertainment services, which we see growing in importance for consumers this year. Protecting content while keeping it easily accessible by consumers is a careful balance, and Microsofts digital media expertise and experience is critical to making this a reality.
Microsoft PlayReady technology will be available as a well-documented porting kit with source code, so it can be deployed on any mobile hardware or software platform, including low-end devices. Optimised implementations for several popular handset platforms will be available from PacketVideo in its software products for mobile phones.