Microsoft's response, specifically regarding the Apple / EMI announcement:
"Consumers have indicated [having DRM free music] is important to them so Zune has been working with a variety of partners to head in this direction. [Emphasis ours] This is a time of transition for the music industry and Microsoft is committed to striking a balance between delivering the best consumer experience while still protecting the rights of the content owners."
Microsoft's general response with regard to DRM:
"Regardless of the outcome of DRM for music downloads, DRM technologies will still have a key role in enabling businesses involving digital content. Subscription music services are a good example – they use DRM to enable consumers to have unlimited access to literally millions of music tracks. Other areas include the delivery of high quality video content, such as movies. Our role continues to be to deliver flexible DRM technology that provides choice for the content owner in how they distribute their content and choice for the consumer so that they have access to a wide variety of high-quality content and ways to enjoy that content."
There you have it, ladies and gents. Microsoft is working behind the scenes to shake some of the DRM from the Zune.