Rights Management Services

Microsoft seems to be pushing the Rights Management Services (RMS) lately. They pushed it at a meeting I was at between my management and Microsoft. Reports from the MVP conference make it sound like it was pushed there as well.
RMS is a service on Windows 2003. With Office 2003 you can use RMS to restrict what people can do with your documents. In one way its better than encryption because it isn’t an all or nothing proposition. Yet, Microsoft is carefull to make no claims about the security of RMS in spite of it using AES encryption.
For us it sounds like a internal solution only. External users would need to have a .net account and web access to our RMS server. Telling people to get a hotmail account so they can read our documents, really is a nutty idea. Of course if the partner company also had a RMS server we could federate them together. But then we have a really tight inbound traffic firewall policy that probably wouldn’t allow that.
While it would be nice to have the ability to set a “do not forward” in an Outlook message that is meaningful, I’m not sure its really worth it. I’ll be looking at RMS more the next few months as time allows.