Could Microsoft be hot on Apple's coattails with the abandonment of DRM? Shortly after today's announcements around the web with Apple and EMI deciding to begin offering non-DRM content along with their standard content, Microsoft issued a press release stating that with the Zune they are heading in exactly that direction. Obviously trying to steal a bit of Apple's thunder, it's still something many of us can look forward to. Obviously DRM will not die, as they point out, but the more choices we all have the better:

"Regardless of the outcome of DRM for music downloads, DRM technologies will still have a key role in enabling businesses involving digital content. ... 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."
They actually don't seem to be as enthusiastic about it as they'd like, which makes sense considering the huge investment they have put into DRM with Windows Media Player. However, you can be sure that if Apple starts making music available that can be tinkered with at will, Microsoft won't be far behind. The demand for such freedom continues to grow, and they don't have a choice but to follow along with the continued success of the iPod.