Nokia Embraces Windows Live Services

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In what may prove to be a major win for software giant Microsoft in the mobile arena, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, Nokia, has agreed to bring Windows Live services to its S60 and Series 40 mobile devices. The agreement encompasses Windows Live services like Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Spaces, and Windows Live Contacts. Owners of compatible S60 devices can download the new product suite providing access to Windows Live services starting today; beginning in 2008, customers who purchase Series 40 devices will also have access to Windows Live Services.

“The availability of Windows Live services for Nokia’s devices demonstrates our commitment to delivering great mobile experiences and extending people’s online lives—taking it from the PC to the device,” said Microsoft senior VP Steve Berkowitz, in a statement. “The alliance will enable a much broader group of consumers to experience the benefits Windows Live has to offer, easily connecting them to the information and people that matter most from virtually anywhere.”

The companies are initially offering the services as a free trail, but customer in some markets may be asked to pay a subscription fee to continue using the services. Owners of the Nokia N73, N76, N80 Internet Edition, N93i, and the N95 in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates can get the new Windows Live suite by using the build-in “Download!” application on their devices.

The announcement highlights the growing partnership between the two giant companies: a year ago, Nokia adopted Windows Live Search, and earlier this month the companies announced a partnership which brings Microsoft’s proprietary digital media formats to Nokia’s S60 and Series 40 devices.

Although nothing about this deal seems to rule out agreements with other developers, the expanding cooperation between Microsoft and Nokia is good news for the Redmond company, which is seeking to expand its footprint in the mobile arena outside of Windows Mobile-enabled smartphones, and bad news for companies like Google and Yahoo which offer competing mobile messaging and connectivity solutions.

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