In recent months Microsoft has persuaded mobile phone maker Nokia to try Windows Live Search and support PlayReady DRM on some of their phones, but today they took a big step further with the announcement of the trial availability of a suite of Windows Live services in Europe and the Middle East on some Nokia mobiles:
Starting today, Nokia customers in 11 countries with compatible S60 devices can download the new suite enabling access to Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces. Starting next year, customers who purchase compatible Nokia Series 40 handsets will also have access to these popular Windows Live services.
Nokia customers who own the Nokia N73, N80 Internet Edition, N95, N76 and the N93i can get the Windows Live services via the Download! application in the following countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, U.K., Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Customers can visit http://www.nokia.com/windowslive to learn more, and check if their country is on the availability list. Initially the service will be available as a free trial, and then customers in select markets wanting to continue using the service may be asked to pay a monthly fee.
This isn’t the Windows Live for Windows Mobile suite Microsoft announced in February since the Nokia phones use a Symbian operating system instead of Windows Mobile 6, but it is at least a kissing cousin created with the developer tools announced then.
No financial terms were announced other than that it “is a revenue-sharing deal and will last at least one year,” but an interesting aspect is that the network operators are cut out of the loop:
The launch is a clear snub to network operators who have made several half-hearted attempts to launch their own email and even photo-sharing applications. By doing a deal directly with Microsoft, the network operator is reduced to trying to collect on the data traffic generated.
Of course not all network operators even leave the Nokia Download! application on the phones, so there will be a certain amount of scuffling about to make this work in some cases.
This may go nowhere, but Nokia and Microsoft certainly get points for an interesting experiment that may turn out to be lucrative.