Microsoft, Nokia to port Silverlight to Symbian phones

Microsoft already has said it will port its Silverlight competitor to Adobe Flash to Windows Mobile phones. But it also is working on a Silverlight port to phones from cellphone market leader Nokia.

Microsoft already has said it will port its Silverlight competitor to Adobe Flash to Windows Mobile phones. But it also is working on a Silverlight port to phones from cellphone market leader Nokia.

Microsoft will announce on March 4 that, with the help of Nokia, it has begun porting Silverlight to the S60s running the Symbian operating system. Microsoft's press release says that Nolia's S60 had more than 53 percent of worldwise market share for "converged device software" in the fourth quarter of lst year. Microsoft and Nokia also will port Silverlight to Nokia Series 40 and Internet tablet devices, Microsoft said.

While Microsoft previously has said it will make the Silverlight browser plug-in available for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari systems, Nokia's S60s feature a built-in, unbranded browser that doesn't all into any of these categories. So this port is yet another one to add to the Silverlight "cross-platform" list. Will Microsoft do something similar with Silverlight and the Apple iPhone?

John Case, a General Manager in Microsoft's Developer Division, said, "Nolia is the first one, but it won't be the last."

Case said the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of Silverlight on Windows Mobile would be coming out some time soon. Case said the final versions of Silverlight for both Symbian and Windows Mobile devices would ship around the same time.

Nokia is the far-and-away leader in the smartphone space. Windows Mobile phones have fallen behind the iPhone, in terms of both worldwide and U.S. marketshare.

Microsoft is slated to demonstrate Silverlight on S60 during the opening keyote at Microsoft’s Mix '08 conference on March 5. The final release of the Silverlight port to S60s is due later this year. The Nokia Series 40 and Internet tablets will get Silverlight some time after that, the Softies said.

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