WinInfo Daily UPDATE, May 4, 2004

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In the News

- WinHEC 2004: Microsoft Sells 210 Million Copies of Windows XP
- WinHEC 2004: Microsoft Unveils Digital-Media Rental Scheme

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

WinHEC 2004: Microsoft Sells 210 Million Copies of Windows XP

The day before opening the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2004 trade show in Seattle, Microsoft announced that it has sold 210 million copies of Windows XP, most of which were bundled with new PCs. However, the company also noted that XP use is far higher than that number because its sales figures don't include copies of XP that are bundled with new machines under corporate licenses.
Microsoft last released XP sales figures in July 2003, when the company announced that it had sold 130 million copies of the OS. Microsoft notes that it's now selling about 10 million copies of XP every month and that sales are accelerating month over month; last year, the company averaged 6 million copies each month.
Although Microsoft's efforts to prep XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), a major upgrade, have stalled in recent days, the company has released an impressive number of XP upgrades since the OS first shipped in October 2001. In addition, Microsoft has augmented the original releases of XP Home Edition and XP Professional Edition with other software versions, including XP Tablet PC Edition, XP Media Center Edition (XP MCE), and various releases for 64-bit hardware.

WinHEC 2004: Microsoft Unveils Digital-Media Rental Scheme

On the eve of the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2004 trade show, Microsoft announced a sweeping set of changes to its Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology that will let online services provide subscription-based content. The technology, which is code-named Janus, will let online music stores and other e-commerce sites offer music, videos, and other digital-media content on a subscription basis rather than for purchase. Users can then transfer the content to portable audio and video devices. When the subscription lapses, the content stops playing on the devices, Microsoft said.
"At the moment, the current subscription models that are out there are hobbled by the fact that they cannot be taken away from the computer," a Microsoft spokesperson said. Device makers are prepping new devices for release in the next 2 to 3 months that will take advantage of the technology.
Janus will further differentiate Windows Media-based online music stores from standard purchase-oriented stores such as the Apple iTunes Music Store. Companies such as AOL, Napster, and The Walt Disney Company will implement Janus in future online services, Microsoft said.

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