That little screen on your mobile device is about to look a lot better. 

Today in Finland, Nokia is expected to announce it will make available Microsoft’s Silverlight to developers to be used in applications for the S60 platform, the broadly deployed mobile operating system for smart phones. 

This is a milestone development in the migration of rich web and desktop environments to the mobile device.  And, it’s not just about watching videos. It’s about the user interface of devices, games and a multitude of applications.

The announcement is timed to MIX, the Microsoft conference getting underway in Las Vegas today. Microsoft will demonstrate Silverlight on S60 during the opening keynote.

Just as the rich application battles are about to begin between Adobe’s Flash vs. Microsoft’s Silverlight for the browser, so will this showdown take place in the mobile world.  And just as Flash has a sizable advantage over the new Silverlight as a browser-based plug-in, so does Adobe’s mobile Flash platform which was introduced in Japan five years ago and is installed on some 300 million devices worldwide.

But Microsoft is moving quickly to spread Microsoft Silverlight.  The watershed event will be this summer when MSN will carry thousands of hours of the Summer Olympics competition in Silverlight.  How cool would it be to watch the Games on a mobile device?

— Andy Plesser