Motorola licenses Opera browser for phones

Motorola's Personal Communications Sector (PCS) division has signed a licensing agreement with Opera Software ASA to use the Oslo company's browser on its phones.

Motorola has not announced which phones will incorporate Opera, but the most likely models are those based on the Linux and Symbian operating systems, Lars Boilesen, Opera's executive vice president sales and distribution said Wednesday. However, "it's a cross-platform agreement so if they want us to port the software to other platforms, we'll do so," he said.

A Motorola spokeswoman confirmed the agreement had been reached but said she was not immediately able to comment further.

The Opera browser's code is small enough to fit on a mobile phone, Boilesen said. "So you can go to any site on the Internet and browse it. Small-screen rendering technology reformats the content on the fly so that it fits. There's no horizontal scrolling, just up and down," he said.

The licensing agreement also allows Motorola to offer the Opera Platform to telecommunications carriers. The platform is designed to integrate online content with a device's own applications, allowing an operator to update the content on the screen of a user's handset.

The companies announced last week that they are working together to combine the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) software stack from a browser developed by Motorola's Global Software Group with Opera's HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) browser software. That will allow phones to access the many WAP-based sites and services that have already been developed, the companies said.

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