At first glance you might not immediately connect the Symbian loving Nokia with Microsoft in any way, shape or form. However, Nokia does know its market and so has already been collaborating with Microsoft on the Windows Media entertainment side of the fence. That collaboration is now to be boosted following the announcement today that support for Microsoft PlayReady technology will be built into the Nokia S60 and Series 40 mobile device platforms.

This new content access technology from Microsoft makes it relatively easy for both content owners and service providers to deliver virtually any type of digital content in whatever way they want. By supporting PlayReady, Nokia will make it easier for premium digital content to be offered to a radically increased installed base. It will also open the door to more flexible business models like renting content or accessing it offline. The technology supports a range of business models that can be applied to almost any type of digital content (music, video, games, ringtones, images and more) and a wide range of audio and video formats (including Windows Media Audio (WMA), Windows Media Video (WMV), AAC, AAC+, AMR and H.264). Microsoft released the PlayReady Porting Kit for mobile devices in early August 2007, and expects the first services using Microsoft PlayReady technology to appear in 2008. In addition, Microsoft has designed PlayReady to be fully backward-compatible with Windows Media DRM 10, which means that devices supporting PlayReady can access existing Windows Media DRM-based content as well as new PlayReady content services.

As far as the consumer is concerned this should, Nokia insist, lead to more flexible ways to manage their digital content between online, home and mobile devices. So, for example, they could purchase content directly from their Nokia device and then transfer the content to watch on their PC if so desired.

"People are increasingly using their mobile devices for enjoying digital content, such as music, games, videos and photos," Ilkka Raiskinen, senior vice president of Multimedia Experiences at Nokia told DaniWeb, continuing "by adding support for Microsoft PlayReady technology, we are enabling service providers to offer a wide range of content and create truly compelling experiences across mobile devices, personal computers and online services. We plan to support PlayReady across a range of S60 and Series 40 devices starting in 2008."