New Adobe License for Mobile Phones

Microsoft announced today that it has licensed Adobe’s software for viewing online videos and other files on cell phones. Microsoft will distribute Flash Lite and Reader programs from Adobe Systems to cell phone makers who use its Windows Mobile software.

Flash allows users to interact with more Web sites. Many shopping sites use flash so users can view an item in different colors or try out paint colors on a virtual home or car.

“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.

Juniper Research analyst Julie Ask thinks cell customers are more likely to browse the Web when they have more capable phones, which is good for advertisers.

“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.

In 2007, 11 million phones carried Windows Mobile. Microsoft predicts that it will double that number this year.

Over 500 million devices have shipped worldwide with Flash preinstalled, amounting to a 150 year-over-year percent growth, Adobe said.

Microsoft hasn’t said how much it is paying Adobe to license the software, but programs will remain free for end-users.