Nokia And Microsoft Sign Media Software Deal

A big shakeup in the mobile media sector today here at 3GSM, where Nokia announced that they would include Windows Media Player in many of their phones. Up until now, major mobile phone brands have stayed away from MSFT, fearing to be marginalized by the major OS brand in the same way PC manufacturers are. RealNetworks has used this aversion to Redmond to help it in to numerous vendor partnerships. However, with respect to media players only (as opposed to smartphone OSes), Nokia sees the strategic advantage of partnering with MSFT: Consumers use their PCs to obtain, store, and manage their digital media, so it is natural to make the mobile media client compatible with the majority desktop computer software. Microsoft’s digital media chief, Amir Majidimehr, says “Consumers will be able to move music from one (PC) world to the other (handset world), without having to understand any of the acronyms…” meaning that they would not have to understand DRM technology. Sure, but only so long as they are moving it from Windows to a Windows Media Player-enabled phone. Nice quote, eh? ‘Use only our software, and all your software will be compatible.’ Either way, this is another big stride forward from Microsoft, and added to the partnership to put WMP on Qualcomm chips from last September indicates a major shift.

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