MySpace Embraces Microsoft Platforms For Mobile And Web Applications

Two Microsoft-related announcements coming from social networking giant MySpace today: the portal is adding support for Windows Mobile-run phones to its new mobile application, due this summer, and bringing the Silverlight runtime to its developer program thanks to a jointly developed Open Source kit.

The upcoming application will be created by MySpace in conjunction with Microsoft developers, and optimize the user experience for owners of devices running the latest version of Windows Mobile (6.1, which was introduced in April 2008). The company says it currently has 20 million mobile users and is focused on developing applications for all platforms, including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, Nokia, etc. As MobileCrunch reported earlier this year, MySpace anticipates 50% of their total traffic to come from mobiles within the next few years, which is why it has recently launched a redesigned mobile website as well (see MC post for details).

All basic functionalities for social interaction with MySpace friends are said to be included in the application (also see screenshots below), but more specific details are bound to emerge sooner or later. The app is supposed to pop up in Windows Marketplace for Mobile early fall 2009, and LG will be pre-loading the utility on its future WiMo devices (slated for shipping in the second half of 2009).

More significant in my opinion is the announcement regarding Silverlight, Redmond’s answer to Adobe’s Flash / Flex rich internet application development platform. MySpace is going to include the Silverlight runtime in its Open Platform and offer a jointly built SDK, leveraging the JavaScript OpenSocial container used by most of the applications that run on the social networking service. Coincidentally, OpenSocial was created by MySpace in conjunction with Google, and both companies have a representative on OpenSocial Foundation’s Board.

Silverlight developers now have the ability to build OpenSocial applications on MySpace’s Open Platform and make the user experience for its members a little richer.

MySpace and Microsoft will be presenting a joint session at the Web 2.0 Expo on Silverlight on the MySpace Open Platform, which will take place on Thursday, April 2nd at 1:30pm PST.