“MICROSOFT is working on technology that will give companies more control over whether to prohibit devices that can easily be used to transfer data to and from personal computers.
The technology is due to appear in next version of Windows, dubbed Longhorn, due out in 2006. As devices including Apple’s popular iPods become capable of holding more data, some worry that people could use them to steal data or unleash virus attacks on business networks.
Microsoft’s goal is to have a system where people can use devices that help them in their work – such as a smart phone full of professional contacts – but not storage devices that could be used to quickly steal data, said Greg Sullivan, a lead product manager..” [Via Australian IT]
The MethodShop Spin: Apparently this “security feature” that blocks devices like the iPod will be optional. However this announcement sounds a little fishy coming just days after Microsoft launched their own music store to limited fanfare and tough comparisons to Apple’s existing product. In all fairness, Microsoft is providing companies with an alternative other than banning the use of large storage devices like the iPod completely. On the other hand, Microsoft could after all start making exceptions to this “security feature” for hardware players that only use WM9 files from the MSN Music Store. Microsoft makes the operating system and has to power to do what they want. Maybe I’m being too skeptical, but if Bill Gates and company can’t compete with the Apple’s iPod and iTunes Music Store, why not just make them not work? Only time will tell.