Microsoft Recognizes Importance of Using Linux for PlayReady

Microsoft Recognizes Importance of Using Linux for PlayReady

Back in the day, Microsoft saw Windows as the cornerstone upon which everything it created was built on. As the importance of desktop computers and their operating systems has waned, Microsoft has evolved.  It now sees the world of computing more broadly. With this evolution, Microsoft recognizes the value in using Linux on the server side. Flagship Microsoft products and frameworks such as SQL Server and .NET core support Linux as a first-class citizen.  Now, IdeaNova can host Microsoft Linux PlayReady DRM server.

PlayReady expands beyond a Windows Environment

For many companies with Linux based operations, PlayReady secure video streaming technology historically required a Windows environment. This has all changed with Microsoft’s recent announcements of supporting Linux OS for their PlayReady servers.  It is now just as straightforward to configure and operate as other license servers.  This makes it more appealing for potential customers who were unable to run the Windows VM.

On the client side, Microsoft is also making some interesting moves. The new Microsoft Edge is now based on the Chromium open-source browser engine instead of the proprietary platform. One of the effects of this development is that Microsoft Edge is now also available on macOS.

Unfortunately, PlayReady is a “platform” component and as such, it is not, at least at present time, supported by the Mac version. Interestingly, the Mac version supports Widevine as it comes as part of the Chromium browser.

Windows is solid technology and has some great innovations, but it is not the best option for many use cases, especially on the server side. We certainly appreciate this new Microsoft, putting the client’s interests rather than Windows first. Increasing options for the customer is a trend that we at IdeaNova can easily get behind, and we certainly applaud Microsoft for doing it here for PlayReady customers.

Why Microsoft’s Change Excites Us

We work with all the major DRM providers and technologies, including Microsoft and their PlayReady technology, to provide secure video streaming technology. Traditionally, the PlayReady server has been running only on Windows. For the majority of our customers, who are otherwise running a Linux server, this requirement has meant running a Windows virtual machine to host the PlayReady license server. Therefore, we were really excited when Microsoft approached us and invited us to join in their beta program for the upcoming Linux version of the PlayReady SDK. We gladly accepted the beta program invitation and participated in the program from March to May 2019.

It is now the end of June 2019 and we are about to get the production release for the PlayReady server SDK. Our tech team has been able to develop and support our Inplay PlayReady License Server.  Now, in the same configurable and easy to manage way, just like our other DRM license servers.  From now on, the Inplay Server will leverage Microsoft Linux PlayReady DRM.  Our cloud-based deployment leverages Kubernetes.  With Linux based PlayReady server, this deployment becomes easier and more consistent across all DRM platforms.  Our build and QA teams are likewise excited about not having to have Windows server VMs for building, deploying and testing our PlayReady server.

But most importantly, we are excited for our PlayReady customers.  Our customer can soon streamline their systems and decommission their Windows VMs which require additional resources to run. This is especially important for the customers in certain industries, such as in-flight entertainment systems for aviation.  These industries have often limitations on system capacity that are hard to overcome.

If you have questions on this change or how to best implement digital rights management, please contact IdeaNova Technologies at 630-470-9477 or email

Posted by

Janne Pelkonen