Microsoft has wanted to become the de-facto standard for DRM for a long while now, and it seems possible that they may indeed make that happen
. As a mobile company in Japan seeks to unveil new technologies on their phones that will be coupled with DRM to begin with, Microsoft has teamed up with them to provide the digital security in the form of Windows Media DRM. It doesn't affect the U.S. or Europe much, yet, but can in time, largely due to the number of devices that will be included.
Today i-mode exists in 15 countries with the aggregate number of subscribers (all carriers in the i-mode alliance) topping the 250 million mark. That doesn't quite translate into as many actual i-mode users but at the end of 2005, they were in excess of 50 million.
Often, setting a trend in one high-tech country like Japan means eventually setting the pace for technology elsewhere in the world. Apple can't be happy about this, so we may see a response from them. Microsoft may end up becoming the king of mobile DRM, which would make it much easier for them to have a say in the market.