Microsoft buys Musiwave

It did not take too long to bring down the value of mobile music spearheads Musiwave from $130m to $50m. The former was the price Openwave paid for the French company in 2005, the latter is what Microsoft now splashed out to buy it from Openwave ($46m in cash and $4m in assumption of debt). And at this price, it looks like a rather good buy for the world's largest software maker.

Microsoft has acquired what was an early leader in mobile music. Musiwave is a giant in mobile distribution of music content - everything from ringtones, ringbacks and full-track downloads to music recognition, etc. Whilst Microsoft will have seized access to a trusted carrier-grade database and provisioning environment as well as Musiwave's extensive relationships with all players on the mobile music circuit - labels, carriers and device manufacturers. Now it will have to show that it can marry it to its own music-centered services, in particular around its Zunes device and service.

All in all, Microsoft seems to be a much more natural home to Musiwave than Openwave would seem to have been. Good luck to the tall guys in Musiwave!