Microsoft launches OEM deal with Sony Ericsson

Microsoft launches OEM deal with Sony Ericsson

The agreement will see software giant Microsoft and the mobile phone vendor team up to offer Sony Ericcson handsets featuring Windows Live.

According to John Starkweather, international director of product marketing for Microsoft, the deal dubbed Venus is a natural progression in the vendor's bid to further infiltrate the mobile market.

“When you look at the size of the market and the volume of mobile phones being shipped each year in comparison to PCs, there is a massive opportunity in mobile,” he said. “The deal is significant because you have Sony Ericsson, one of the top 5 mobile players, shipping Windows Live.”

Microsoft currently has 50 OEMs and 150 mobile operators, which translates into 20 different mobile phone handsets that run Windows Live. Starkweather claimed Microsoft will be working with Sony Ericsson to make customised mobiles that accommodate Sony’s strength in the camera and music arena.

“[Sony] brought in Cybershot to build their cameras and Walkman to develop the music side of the business, so they already have a strong foundation,” he explained.

Starkweather envisions a fruitful partnership for both parties, indicating that the mobile space will continue to be a major focus for Microsoft.

“All major business groups at Microsoft have a significant mobile sector. Windows Live has the largest mobile team and encompasses things like Hotmail,” said Starkweather. “Over the last three years we’ve had major partner announcements in the mobile space including HTC and Orange.”

Sony Ericsson's consumer heritage was cited as a benefit Microsoft would enjoy as a result of the deal. Conversely, Microsoft's business focus is expected to add a new element to the mobile manufacturer's operations.

“Sony are focused on the consumer … Windows Mobile offers the business side and very competitive phone building,” said Starkweather.