Nokia Licenses Microsoft DRM for Cell Phones

Mobile phone giant Nokia announced today that it will license Microsoft's PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies to help protect the transmission of content such as music, videos, and games to cell phones on its hugely popular S60 and Series 40 cell phone platforms. Nokia is the world's largest cell phone maker, and the deal marks a major expansion of the company's previous relationship with Microsoft.

"People are increasingly using their mobile devices for enjoying digital content, such as music, games, videos and photos," said Nokia senior vice president Ilkka Raiskinen. "By adding support for Microsoft PlayReady technology, we are enabling service providers to offer a wide range of content and create truly compelling experiences across mobile devices, personal computers and online services."

Nokia's S60 platform is the most widely-used cell phone platform on earth, and is delivered to customers in phones made by Nokia, LG Electronics, and Samsung. However, S60-based phones that use Microsoft's DRM won't hit the market until 2008, the companies said. Many analysts speculate that Nokia will use the technology to deliver an over-the-air online content store for customers.

Microsoft PlayReady is specially designed for the needs of mobile markets and enables cell phone users to share protected content between their phones, PCs, and other compatible devices. PlayReady supports Windows Media formats, of course, but also rival audio and video formats such as AAC, AAC+ and H.264.

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