Fresh off the release of its new Vista and Windows Mobile 6 operating systems, Microsoft has now unveiled a new digital rights management technology called PlayReady.

The new DRM scheme is designed for mobile devices, taking what's called a "domain-based" approach. In short, this means content purchased for mobile devices will not be limited to the device on which it was purchased. Rather, users can register a number of mobile devices within a domain, and share PlayReady-enabled content among them, or download multiple copies of the same content.

This is a rather new DRM philosophy that even Microsoft says will likely take some time before it catches on.

Supported content includes ringtones, graphics, games and video, as well as such business models as rental, subscription and a la carte. Wireless operators Telefonica SA, Verizon Wireless, Bouygues Telecom and AT&T have all announced support for the new technology, which they expect to begin implementing by the first half of the year.

Microsoft officials say the DRM system will work on any mobile phone operating system, not just Windows Mobile 6. It was introduced at the 3GSM wireless conference in Barcelona.

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