Microsoft and Nokia agree music DRM deal

3GSM: Partnership will put Microsoft's music player software on Nokia handsets, and the joint development of future streaming media products and standards

Microsoft and Nokia have struck a deal that will see Microsoft's audio file format supported on Nokia-powered handsets, while adding more open standard support to Windows Media Player.

Nokia, which also develops software with Microsoft rival Real Networks, said on Monday it would launch a Windows Media compatible phone this year. In a separate deal, Loudeye and Nokia are providing a mobile music service akin to Apple's iTunes aimed at handset users.

As a result of the deal, Microsoft is adding support for the Open Mobile Association (OMA)'s digital rights management system, together with the open AAC audio compression format. These will work on Microsoft's Windows Media player, which will also retain its own compression and DRM formats. Nokia and Microsoft has also agreed to co-develop future streaming media products and standards.

Nokia has also agreed to include Microsoft's Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol in future enterprise mobile products. This will enable direct synchronisation for email, PIM and address book data over the air and docked. Nokia will continue to support the OMA Data Synchronisation Protocol and its own Nokia PC Suite software.

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