“Speaking to an exclusive gathering of press in London on a number of issues, such as security, Steve Ballmer didn’t pass up the opportunity to take several digs at his company’s arch rival Apple,” Andy McCue reports for Silicon.com. “At the heart of the debate is Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology which will let content providers such as record labels and movie studios keep control of their intellectual property (IP) – or at least ensure all royalties are paid and copyright observed.”

Andy McCue reports for Silicon.com., “Billing Microsoft as the good guys and Apple the villains of the piece – at least as far as corporate America, rather than users, is concerned, Ballmer said: ‘We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen.’ However, Ballmer conceded it isn’t going to be an easy battle to win. ‘Most people still steal music,’ he said. ‘We can build the technology, but there are still ways for people to steal music.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Ballmer’s correct about “stealing,” then any player capable of playing unprotected music would be the tools of thieves the world over. Interesting, Ballmer focuses only on Apple’s iPod and leaves the Dell DJ’s of the world out of his critique. And, unfortunately for Ballmer, Apple’s so far ahead, he needs a high powered telescope just to be able to see the iPod maker’s cloud of dust.