Microsoft has partnered with handset manufacturer Nokia to deliver some of its Windows Live services on wireless handsets in Europe and the Middle East.
Beginning Wednesday, users of Nokia's S60 handsets -- specifically, the Nokia N73, N80 Internet Edition, N95, N76 and the N93i -- in 11 countries will have direct access to Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces through the handsets' "Download!" feature.
Users in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the U.K., Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will be the first to have the services, with other countries to be added over the next year, said Phil Holden, director of mobile services for Microsoft's Online Services Business.
Beginning next year, Nokia also will install the same applications on its Series 40 phones in those countries as well as others that will be announced later, Holden said. He could not say when the Windows Live services would be available on handsets in the U.S.
The companies did not disclose the specific terms of the partnership, which is a revenue-sharing deal and will last at least one year, Holden said.
The services will be available for a trial period at first, but eventually users will have to pay a nominal fee per month if they want to keep using them, he said. Microsoft also offers some of its Windows Live services on devices running its own Windows Mobile OS.
Microsoft launched revamped and new online services under the "Live" brand in November 2005 in an effort to catch up to the portfolio of online services offered by competitors Google and Yahoo. All of these companies are offering wireless versions of at least some of their Web-based applications as part of the industry's move to offer many of same features and applications that are now found on PCs on wireless devices as well.
"The mobile phone is getting more powerful and functional," Holden said. "We don't live out of PCs, but always have a mobile phone with us."
Prior to Wednesday's announcement, Nokia already was offering Microsoft's Windows Live Search as part of its Nokia Mobile Search application on S60 handsets. The company also plans to extend this to its Series 40 handsets, it said Wednesday.