CES - New Motorola music handset marries Microsoft, Linux

Motorola announced a new handset aimed at music lovers that syncs its Linux OS with Microsoft's Windows Media Player.

Motorola announced a new music-enabled mobile phone Monday that syncs its Linux OS with Microsoft's Windows Media Player on Windows XP, as well as PCs running Vista.

Motorola and Microsoft have been working together on new music mobile devices, Motorola said in a statement. The two companies also plan to develop handsets made especially for downloading music over 3G (third generation) networks.

Within the next two years, it will only take 10 seconds to download a song over a mobile phone, said Ed Zander, chief executive officer (CEO) of Motorola, during his keynote speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

The MOTORIZR Z6 will be the first Motorola handset to come with Microsoft Windows Media technologies, the companies said, including Windows Media Digital Rights Management. The slider-style handset will allow users to buy music at over 200 music stores worldwide.

The new handset won't be out until later in the first half of this year. Pricing information was not available.

Motorola also announced a new music handset that uses EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment). EDGE is a faster version of GSM (Global Standard for Mobile Communications) service that enables data to be delivered at speeds up to 384kbps. Dubbed the MOTOMING with EDGE, the handset is also a Linux-based device, but it uses the RealPlayer media player.

The company introduced the new handsets and new deals to work with the Warner Music Group and Microsoft on delivering music to mobile phones in a broad alliance dubbed MotoMusic.

And one company may not be too happy with the choice of names. Moto Music runs a Web site devoted to music at http://www.motomusic.com. There is also a trademark protection warning on the site: Moto Music is the trademark of Paul Jova and Moto Music. The company did not immediately return requests for comment.

A Motorola spokeswoman said she was not immediately aware of any issues surrounding the name.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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