The strategy to get its rich Internet app on cell phones is part of Microsoft's effort to make the browser plug-in a cross-platform, cross-browser product. Microsoft's bringing Silverlight to cell phones, partnering with Nokia to bring the rich Internet app browser plug-in to devices that use Nokia's popular S60 software platform. Nokia will also make Silverlight available on its Series 40 devices and its Internet Tablet devices, the companies are expected to announce Tuesday.
The strategy to get Silverlight on mobile devices -- and particularly on the Symbian OS -- is part of Microsoft's effort to make the browser plug-in a cross-platform, cross-browser product in order to get as much penetration as possible on the Web. The company is also working on a version of Silverlight for Windows Mobile, a beta version of which is due out soon.
Microsoft is coming from behind. Adobe has had a strong mobile presence for Flash for years. It has distribution agreements with 18 of the top 20 device manufacturers worldwide including Nokia, and according to Adobe, 450 million devices have been shipped so far with Flash Lite, which is a trimmed down version of Flash. That, of course, compares to zero for Microsoft. According to Adobe, Flash Lite has seen a 150% growth in the past year.