Microsoft and Walt Disney have signed a deal to improve the quality and security of digital media and the ability to access digital media from different types of devices.
As part of the agreement, Disney will license Microsoft's Windows Media Digital Rights Management technology on a non-exclusive basis.
Disney distributes some digital content, such as movie trailers, over the internet using Microsoft's Windows Media as well as RealNetworks' RealVideo format and Apple's Quicktime format.
Microsof called the alliance with Disney "a significant co-operative effort … to help guide the industry", but offered few specifics of what the two companies will do beyond licensing Windows Media DRM.
The two companies would only say they plan to work on the creation and secure delivery of content, increase the availability of digital media, and improve the ability to use secured content on different types of devices.
Microsoft is trying to push use of its Windows Media technology beyond the PC. At the Consumer Electronics Show last month it showcased Windows Media High Definition Video and demonstrated Windows Portable Media Centers, handheld devices for music and video playback that are due out this year.
In addition, five films were shown using Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series technology at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival last month.
Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service