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  Microsoft Real deal is all about moving content around

First Thoughts: Our eyes are always drawn to large sums of money, and it is for that reason that every headline this week cited the $761m that Microsoft paid to RealNetworks to settle its anti-trust suit.

The music collaboration deal was next, and this is very strong. It makes MSN a better place, which takes a little dig at Google, and once Microsoft has paid off RealNetworks, by finding it lots of new Rhapsody customers, do you suppose Microsoft will continue to bring new customers to Rhapsody?

The answer to that is contained in the news that Microsoft broke off talks with the record labels a week ago, claiming that they were asking too much for their music. The watertight, low priced contracts that Rhapsody has, are a much better way for Microsoft to make money from music , by sales commissions and more advertising.

Has all this really damaged Apple? No, but it's taken a small bite out of the Apple music revenues and that's how you eat an Elephant, with one small bite at a time.

Then we were fed the games story, and that's nice, it may just give Xbox another little edge over Sony as it tries to cope with the oncoming train which is the PS3.

Final Thoughts: But this was really all about moving content around, and the co-operation of these two companies' DRMs will open a door for PC held content to get onto devices that are not Microsoft platforms. It does not take too much of a stretch of the imagination to see this including mobile handsets, where the RealNetworks RealPlayer almost has a monopoly on playing media. It could be Microsoft money well spent.

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