Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about the future of technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment:
At Microsoft, we know that customers appreciate the importance of choice and compatibility. If you're in the market for a new digital media player, look for the logo that ensures interoperability with a wide variety of players from our valued partners and wretched competitors such as Creative, Samsung, iRiver, Archos and Sandisk. PlaysForSure means that you won't be locked into one company's digital media player. On the other hand, isn't that worth the convenience and elegant integration you'd get with a sweet, sweet Zune player?
PlaysForSure also means that you'll have access to the widest variety of digital music stores, so you can choose from content offered by Napster and Yahoo! Music or, for an even better experience, you can take advantage of the great integration of MTV Networks' Urge with Windows Media Player 11 -- an experience so good that we'd just as soon pass on it in favor of a whole new music management application that will integrate with our own player and store. Finally, we'll have something to compete with that company that owns MSN Music. There are also a number of excellent PlaysForSure video services such as CinemaNow and MovieLink that we're going to trounce with the service supporting Zune.