Nokia and Microsoft have penned a deal that allows customers in 11 countries with compatible Nokia S60 phones to access a suite of Windows Live services specifically designed for those devices.
Those customers will be able to download the new suite Aug. 22, giving them access to Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces.
But the software is currently only available to Nokia customers in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who have Nokia N73, N80 Internet Edition, N95, N76 or N93i phones.
Click here to read about the three Windows Live mobile services that Microsoft debuted earlier in 2007.
While additional countries will be added over the next year, Matt Champagne, director of mobile product management for Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., declined to be more specific.
Microsoft is also in initial discussions with a number of other operators around the world, he said, noting that the deal was not exclusive to Nokia.
"These services were built on top of industry-standard Web services protocols and open APIs that allow access to the Windows Live services and can be leveraged by developers wishing to build similar services," he said.
Also, starting in 2008, customers who buy compatible Nokia Series 40 handsets will also have access to these Windows Live services, enabling them to move in an integrated way between contacts, e-mail, messenger, phone calls, text messaging, camera, gallery and browsing, he said.
But there is a catch: While the service will initially be available as a free trial, "Later this year customers may receive a notification that they will have to pay to continue using the service and, at that stage, they can choose to do so, or not," Champagne told eWEEK.
"If customers decide to pay, this will cost them around two Euros a month in addition to the data charges, including roaming fees," he said.
To read about Nokias decision to offer Live Search, click here.
This latest deal builds on the existing relationship between Microsoft and Nokia, which has already integrated Microsofts Live Search for Mobile into the Nokia Mobile Search application, said Jari Pasanen, vice president of strategy and technology for Nokia Multimedia, based in Helsinki, Finland.
Nokia also plans to extend this service onto the Series 40 platform to enhance the search experience across a greater range of devices, Pasanen said.
"By taking advantage of the extensive and agile distribution network that Nokia has, we have the opportunity to bring the power of Windows Live services to Nokia devices, ensuring that our customers can take their most important online information with them on the go," Pasanen said.
Microsoft is still figuring out its Windows Live strategy. Click here to read more.
Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of Microsofts Online Services Business, said the alliance would let a broader group of consumers experience the benefits of Windows Live, which he said consist of easily connecting them to the information and people that matter most from virtually anywhere.
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