February 13, 2006 7:05 AM PST
Motorola to make Windows Media phones, keep iTunes
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the air, sold by operators and also directly from a computer.
"This is important for consumers to get broader and wider access to digital content," White said.
Amir Majidimehr, in charge of Microsoft's digital-media activities, said the advantage for consumers was that they could now buy online songs, either from a PC or a mobile phone, and transfer between devices without having to buy tracks twice.
Microsoft now has deals with Nokia and Motorola. Combined, the two handset makers produced more than half of the 810 million mobile phones that were sold last year.
Nokia announced a deal to include Windows Media in some of its phones last year at 3GSM. Nokia has helped set up mobile-phone software firm Symbian, which competes with Windows Mobile, Microsoft's technology for handsets.
In addition to Windows Media, the Nokia phones will also contain an open standard for the transfer and protection of songs and video. Motorola said its Windows Media phones may also support this standard from the Open Mobile Alliance, or OMA.
"It's possible that we may support OMA. This is not an exclusive deal," White said.
The OMA standard has suffered, however, from endless haggling over licensing terms in negotiations with key patent holders that have been gridlocked for more than a year.
The patents are owned by a small group of companies, including Sony, Royal Philips Electronics, Intertrust Technologies, ContentGuard and Microsoft.
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