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Microsoft licenses Adobe's Flash Lite

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Associated Press / March 17, 2008

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Microsoft Corp. has licensed Adobe's software for viewing online videos and other files on cellphones, the companies said today.

Microsoft will distribute Flash Lite and Reader programs from Adobe Systems Inc. to cellphone makers who use its Windows Mobile software.

Flash also allows users to interact with more websites. It's the software behind most shopping sites where you can view an item in different colors or try out house paint colors on a virtual home.

"Flash content is the most prolific content on the Web today; it is the way people express themselves on the Internet," Adobe spokesman Gary Kovacs said.

Julie Ask, an analyst at Juniper Research, said cell customers are more likely to browse the Web with more capable phones.

"The more likely they are to use it, the more that folks are willing to invest in the platform, and the more likely there are to be page views. It's good for advertisers, it's good for carriers," Ask said.

Scott Rockfeld, group product manager at Microsoft's mobile communications business, said the decision was about providing more choice to its customers, even though Windows Mobile already offers 18,000 applications.

"Obviously it's one of the things that customers are asking for. Flash is something that is very prevalent on the Web," Rockfeld said.

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