Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Motorola Makes Music With Microsoft

E-Commerce Times reports that Motorola and Microsoft "will team to integrate Windows Media technology into Motorola music handsets. New Motorola music handsets "will add support for Windows Digital Media Rights Management (DRM) and Windows Media Audio (WMA) and will give users flexibility and options when purchasing and playing digital music."

Ira Brodsky at DataComm Research noted Motorola is probably trying to succeed with Microsoft via the PC where it couldn't with Apple and iTunes. He said, "It would be a natural if they could use their handset and use the desktop as a base for really milking that handheld for information."

Brodsky pointed out that Motorola seems to be hedging its bets and that "Microsoft is more than likely to be part of the mobile media movement." He said, "It does sound like they're trying to cover a lot of ground. They will pick several directions, because the risk of picking one and it not turning out is too high."

Yankee Group analyst Mike Goodman said, "This comes under the heading, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. "Just because the Rokr failed doesn't mean they should abandon the music phone."

Goodman added the "deal is key for Microsoft as it looks to compete indirectly with Apple through its codecs, DRM, media player and other software." JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg agreed the deal was big news for Microsoft, and will provide Motorola with "more leverage in its dealings with Apple."