HP made a big announcement today, and it was not its partnership with Apple. The real innovation was the introduction of LightScribe, a new technology to silkscreen CDs and DVDs.
While the product itself would have been worthy of its own announcement, the news was buried into a general overview press release.
Scheduled for shipping later this year, the new technology allows CD and DVD burner manufacturers to add a new feature that allows users to easily silkscreen disks. When you think of the potentials, this is pretty huge. I can see a couple of new areas expanding with this. First of all, manufacturers offering the technology will obviously tout it as an extra. Second, I could see a number of companies offering software package that allow you to better customize the images for your CDs. Last but not least could be the spread of professionally created images and backgrounds for such disk.
LightScribe may seem like a small thing but I think it will have a much longer impact than HP’s partnership with Apple on the iPod. However, the partnership, in conjunction with Real Networks’ announcement that were supporting AAC in their new client, definitely puts Apple’s DRM in a strong fighting position against Microsoft.