Great! The usual 'blame the customer' reason for DRM. Micros*ft isn't helping to increase what's left of their street cred by issuing blatantly false and insulting statements like this. For the record, a lot of people, including myself are not thieves. I, and many others, only store legal music on our iPods. This is yet another way textbook example of 'how NOT to develop software'.

From 'iPod users are music thieves' says Ballmer - silicon.com:

QUOTE

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.

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.

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'."

"Part of the reason people steal music is money, but some of it is that the DRM stuff out there has not been that easy to use. We are going to continue to improve our DRM, to make it harder to crack, and easier, easier, easier, easier, to use," he said.

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."

UNQUOTE