As predicted in a previous CMSWire article, Microsoft is making strategic and significant moves in the Content Management and Document Management space. This time we're high-lighting Microsoft's new Windows Rights Management Services. These services are a dependency for Rights Management (read: simplified workflow, security, and Information Rights Management (IRM)) features that are being touted as one of the significant new capabilities of the MS Office 2003 suite of products. Of course, to take advantage of these new features, one MUST have Windows Server 2003. From the article: "To use IRM features, businesses will need a server running Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 operating system and Windows Rights Management Services software. The server software will record permission rules set by the document creator, such as other people authorized to view the document and expiration dates for any permissions. When another person receives that document, they briefly log in to the Windows Rights Management server--over the Internet or a corporate network--to validate the permissions." This is a by now familiar tactic from Microsoft, new features, exclusive to the latest version, not backwards compatible, requiring other, new Microsoft products to function fully. Any surprises here? Well, not really, but outside of this, take a minute to consider how these features and services will begin to relate to Document Management solutions sales proposals to a client who has implemented the Windows Rights Management Services. If you're thinking that sales of competing products will get measurable more challenging, then we're in alignment. Add to this thought process the MS Sharepoint Portal capabilities and we see again how Microsoft's integration of cross-product go to market strategies are formulated in a sometimes painfully synchronous manner. ....and here's my favorite quote: "When you dominate a market, you change that market," Rosoff [an analyst with Directions on Microsoft] said. "Office already has all the document management features people could possibly want. The only way to add value to Office is to make it part of this larger system that adds value." Read the full article.