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Microsoft Licenses Adobe’s Flash Lite

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Microsoft Licenses Adobe’s Flash Lite

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Adobe was tickled to say this morning that Microsoft had licensed its Flash Lite browser plug-in and the Flash Player runtime for mobile devices so Internet Explorer Mobile can browse increasingly prevalent Flash Player-compatible content in future Windows Mobile phones.

Microsoft also licensed the Adobe Reader LE software for viewing PDF documents including e-mail attachments and web content.

The contract – and terms weren’t disclosed – is particularly sweet for Adobe since Microsoft is working on Silverlight for Mobile, a Flash Lite competitor that’s not due out until later this year. (A preview is scheduled for next quarter and it needs to be faster than Flash.)  

Adobe said it would make its stuff available to OEMs that license Windows Mobile software; when exactly it will come out the other end is up in the air.

Adobe currently claims a half-billion mobile devices have shipped with Flash Lite, whose year-over-year growth, it said, was up 150%. It expects the number to a billion by 2010.

The plug-in, which can’t work with the newest version of Flash, Flash 9, runs on Windows Mobile, Symbian S60 and Qualcomm BREW in addition to various embedded operating systems and offers users more of a PC experience. However, Apple CEO Steve Jobs thinks little out and was publicly trashed Flash earlier this month as not good wnough for the iPhone.

Last year Microsoft sold 11 million Windows Mobile licenses and expects to sell 20 million this year.

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