Microsoft announced that it will stop releasing licensing keys for its "Plays For Sure" technology as of August 31, meaning that already purchased music will not be playable unless consumers keep their PCs
and OS for ever.
Essentially, Microsoft decided to end the support for
its MSN music DRM technology, which was included in
tunes purchased through its MSN Music portal. As part
of the company's "Plays For Sure" technology,
Microsoft provided consumers with authorization keys
for songs downloaded from its MSN Music service, in
order to allow play back on computers and other
devices than carried the "Plays For Sure" logo.
The company informed customers of the former MSN
Music Tuesday that as of August 31, 2008 support will
stop for "the retrieval of license keys for the songs
you purchased on MSN Music or the authorization of
Until now, "Plays For Sure" DRM technology has
allowed ex-MSN Music subscribers to switch
authorization to new machines and OS, so long as they
keep abiding by a previously imposed limit of five
computers. But as of September, the MSN Music
approval servers will fade into history, and users
will need to stick with the machines and OS they've
chosen by then.
Although the music will continue to play on computers
that have been authorized by that date, users will no
longer be able to transfer tunes to any other
machine, or even to play them on the same PC if they
change operating systems, including upgrading from
Windows XP to Windows Vista.