Executive Email from Steve Ballmer

Rights Management: Enabling New Opportunities for Customers

During the past decade, computers and the Internet have transformed the way we work, learn, communicate and are entertained. Yet some of technology's potential to do even more has not been fully realized, because of concerns about illegal use of digital information, about confidentiality and about privacy. For example, e-commerce in music and movies has been slowed, because artists and publishers have been concerned about protecting their copyrighted works from illegal use. More broadly, businesses don't exchange digital information with customers and partners as freely as they might, because they fear it could fall into the wrong hands.

These concerns reflect the increasing need of all businesses and many individual computer users to share a wide range of digital information, yet still control who can use it and how - what we at Microsoft call "rights management."

We have been working on a number of emerging rights management technologies that will help protect many kinds of digital content, and open new avenues for its secure and controlled use. These technologies are already helping encourage owners of book, music and film content to explore new e-commerce business models that will provide consumers with more convenient access and greater variety. Rights management will also help protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers' personal data, such as medical and financial records. And in a broad range of businesses, effective rights management will help improve the efficiency of information flows, enhancing productivity and the quality of services across the entire economy.

This email offers some insights into how we are working to develop these technologies, and how they will bring these crucial benefits to business and consumers.

Read more for full email..

News source: In-House

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