Nokia is to embed Microsoft's Silverlight client on its S60 handsets, with a demonstration promised for 5 March and support on lower-end Nokia devices to follow.
Silverlight is Microsoft's answer to Adobe Flash, and enables the kind of integrated-rich-media the Web 2.0 crowd are used to. Getting Silverlight onto S60 is a significant step for Microsoft - though the platform already incorporates Adobe's Flash Lite.
In some ways this is just Nokia following the Web 2.0 crowd, but given Microsoft's desperation for Silverlight to succeed, at least this time it's unlikely to have cost the Finnish phone giant any money.
Making it easier to render multimedia content on a mobile phone isn't going to address the real barrier to consuming content on mobiles - the cost of data. Yesterday, mobile games specialist Fishlabs started delivering its games via email for customers to install over Bluetooth or cables, which bodes badly for any business hoping to make money selling video on the move.
Microsoft will demonstrate Silverlight on an S60 handset at its MIX08 conference on 5 March, thus demonstrating its cross-platform credentials.
Nokia is only prepared to say that a Silverlight developers' kit is "intended" to be available during 2008, and that versions for S40 and Nokia Internet Tablets will be "confirmed later".
Given how enthusiastically Nokia has endorsed every other Web 2.0 technology, its reticence is both uncharacteristic, and a little worrying. ®