Phoenix Developing DRM-Equipped BIOS

BIOS maker Phoenix Technologies said it is currently shopping a digital-rights-enabled BIOS system to top PC OEMs, the most aggressive use of DRM technology to date. Phoenix executives said Wednesday that they've developed a prototype version of its Core Management Environment (cME) using DRM technology in conjunction with Orbid Corp., a DRM technology provider. The software was designed to assist content providers to authenticate and track software moving from PC to PC.

Although DRM technology has moved steadily forward, consumers have had some choice whether to implement it. Selected software providers in various markets, such as Intuit and Macromedia, have chosen to implement DRM, allowing consumers to choose DRM-less alternatives. Phoenix's efforts, however, represent a more fundamental sea change. Phoenix is a manufacturer of BIOS software, the underlying code which ties together a PC's operating system and the system hardware. Since a personal computer must have BIOS installed to boot, a user could be forced to use the DRM technology whether he or she chooses to or not.The final version of the cME is due to launch in the fourth quarter, Timothy D. Eades, senior vice-president of corporate marketing for Phoenix, said in an interview.

News source: ExtremeTech

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