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.
- Stop Guessing, Start Measuring: How to Use Mobile Analytics to Deliver the Best App ROI This interactive e-book investigates how mobile is driving the need for app and portfolio measures unlike any we saw in the days of...
- APIs & MBaaS: How to Extend Your Enterprise Architecture for a Mobile World "Mobile," as Forrester Research observes, "is pushing aging web architectures to the brink." Download this whitepaper and learn how each of these requirements...
- Three Principles of the Mobile Era or Mastering the Mobile Shift: Three Keys to the New Enterprise In this whitepaper, you will learn the tools, technologies and strategies that are necessary for a mobile-ready IT to master the 3 keys...
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts