Microsoft Reader will support DRM for 4 devices

The next version of Microsoft's electronic book reader software will support digital rights management (DRM) for as many as four devices, doubling the number of devices supported in the previous version of the software.

Microsoft Reader 2.0, which will ship on all handhelds running the Pocket PC 2002 operating system and be available for Windows users in October, will allow one e-book to be stored on four devices, said Jeff Ramos, worldwide director of marketing for Microsoft, in a keynote address at Seybold Conference and Expo.

The current version of Microsoft Reader only supports two devices, so if a user puts copies of an e-book on both a home PC and a work PC, that user can't put the same book on a handheld device without buying another copy of it, Ramos said.

Ramos also said in his keynote that Microsoft has "no tangible plans to produce Reader for the (Apple Computer Inc.) Mac platform."

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