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DRM pinches Motorola's stream

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Software 2007 Motorola is champing at the bit to run with mobile media, but the stables must be shoveled out first.

"The technology is there," Motorola CEO Ed Zander said today, "but what has to get figured out first is DRM, security and monetization."

In his keynote speech at the Software 2007 conference in Santa Clara, Zander spoke of the company's plans for the future and the stumbling blocks along the way.

He sees this decade as technology's "age of mobility." Motorola dreams of a not-too-distant-future where mobile devices will be able to transfer video seamlessly regardless of brand or even program a DVR.

This is technically possible now, but content owners aren't ready to release their deathgrip on proprietary media. Zander isn't holding his breath for any changes: "It's going to take a while," he said.

In the meantime, Motorola has its eyes on the business sector. The company has recently been making buys to gain face in the enterprise sector.

Zander said Motorola has borged 13 companies for about $6bn in the past two years and there's more to come. "Expect to see more acquisitions and more integration."

Mobile devices for the business sector accounts for about 35 per cent of Motorola's business, but the percentage is growing, Zander said. The company thinks "the next big thing" will see personal mobile devices become enterprise devices as well. Everything that employees would traditionally do on a laptop will be done on a phone.

The plan works for Zander, anyway. Pulling out his own phone, he announced that corporate information as well as personal information is stored in the device. If he lost his phone at the conference, Zander announced proudly, he would be screwed.

Perhaps further reflecting on this statement, he later mentioned that his phone has several unnamed "security features" to protect it.

Zander did some wiggling when show host M.R. Rangaswami brought up the iWord. His reaction went from aggressive to limp.

"How does Motorola deal with the iPhone?"

"Well, how do they deal with us?"

Zander's bravado began to fade. "Don't quote me."

And then...

"I'm not going to pick winners and losers." ®

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