Microsoft gives a boost to mobile media player

Microsoft gives a boost to mobile media player

Software giant agrees deal with Nokia to distribute its alternative to Flash media player

Microsoft will deliver a version of its Silverlight media player for Nokia phones in a bid to increase its presence in the smartphone industry.

Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for interactive applications and has Adobe's Flash as its closest competitor.

Under the partnership, Microsoft will make its platform available for hundreds of millions of devices, including smartphones running Symbian software from a range of manufacturers, as well as Nokia Series 40 devices and Nokia internet tablets.

"This is a significant step in gaining broad acceptance for Silverlight and ensuring it is platform agnostic," said senior vice president of Microsoft's developer division S. Somasegar.

"And this is critical since we want to make sure developers and designers don't have to constantly recreate the wheel and build different versions of applications and services for multiple operating systems, browsers and platforms," he said.

The deal will extend Silverlight to a broader range of vendors, platforms and devices, whilst enabling a wider community of developers and more applications for Nokia, said Ovum analyst Bola Rotibi.

"There is clear market demand for rich, web-based services across a variety of device types, but developing these can often be commercially difficult," she said.

"This partnership should help the uptake of higher speed mobile services and advance a new era of anytime, anywhere device-based computing."