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.

Story Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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2 comments

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The MS Antitrust Trial was about Emerging Markets
So I ask: What was the effect, if any, of the Governemnt's "Remedy" and case against Microsoft if companies like the ones cited here as requesting Windows Media, continue to chose Windows Media and not iTunes native "format"?
Mcirosft has decided not to make Windows Media for Macs anymore, a line in the sand if you will in this battle for the future standard.

The answer is: little if anything has changed and as a result Microsoft will consume the hand held -emerging market- the Antitrust case specifically cited as endangered due to monopoly power of MS, instead of a leading competitor that consumers are happy with as evidenced by iTunes outstanding success.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
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Re: The MS Antitrust Trial was about Emerging Markets
Nice try but what you fail to realize is that MS does not have majority market share that the iPod & iTunes currently has, thus the anti-trust concerns do not apply here.

You must think beyond MS to understand whats going on. These companies choose to partner with MS even though they could have chosen REAL which means they are choosing MS because they belive it will be to their advantage.

Additionally, these companies need to get something back from this partnership and thats not gonna happen with Apple, which is why HP recently ended its deal with Apple on an HP branded iPod.
Posted by NPGMBR (281 comments )
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