Microsoft to buy mobile music company Musiwave
It wants to boost its consumer mobile offerings
IDG News Service - Microsoft Corp. plans to buy mobile music service provider Musiwave, as the software company looks to step up its consumer mobile offerings.
Musiwave allows mobile operators to offer self-branded music applications, including full song-over-the-air downloads, ringtones and ring-back tones. Operators including O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, Telus, Telefonica and Virgin Mobile are among Musiwave's customers.
Microsoft said it has signed an exclusivity agreement regarding its intention to acquire Musiwave. The companies did not disclose any financial details of their discussions. Microsoft would acquire Musiwave from Openwave, which bought the company in 2005 for more than $121 million. At the time, Openwave said it expected Musiwave would add more than $50 million to its revenue for the calendar year 2006.
Microsoft said the acquisition would bring together Musiwave's relationships with music labels, device makers and operators with Microsoft products and services including Windows Mobile, Zune, MSN and Windows Live. In its announcement about the deal, Microsoft touted Musiwave's support of phones from different manufacturers running a variety of software, indicating that the software company could decide to continue supporting non-Windows Mobile phones with Musiwave services.
With Musiwave, Microsoft would compete with other mobile music services, most notably Apple Inc.'s iPhone combined with iTunes. "They're probably looking at the success of the iPhone and are concerned that it could build into something," said Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft. "If [the iPhone] doesn't cut into Windows Mobile sales, it could stall growth."
In addition to the iPhone, other mobile phone makers have music services. Nokia Corp. recently opened a mobile music store available to customers in the U.K. Samsung also introduced a mobile music store with MusicNet, a company providing white label music services.
Going to market with a company like Musiwave supports Microsoft's mobile strategy because Musiwave allows operators to offer self-branded services. Microsoft has typically partnered with operators and handset makers, rather than trying to offer services that could compete with them, Rosoff said.
Buying a mobile music company is clearly a departure from Microsoft's typical business user-focused strategy with Windows Mobile, however. But as far back as two years ago the company signaled its intention of trying to appeal more to the consumer market, when it moved the Windows Mobile group into the larger consumer-focused group at Microsoft that includes Xbox and Zune, Rosoff noted.
If the deal goes through, Musiwave would continue to be based in its current Paris headquarters, Microsoft said.
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!