REDMOND, Wash., and STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Dec. 8, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. and Ericsson today announced a strategic partnership to develop end-to-end solutions for the wireless Internet, based on a shared vision of convenient and fast access to information any time, anywhere, from any device. Ericsson and Microsoft will form a joint company to market and deliver mobile e-mail solutions for network operators. Ericsson will own the majority share of the new company.
As part of the partnership -- the first between the two companies -- Ericsson will provide its Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) stack to Microsoft and will adopt Microsoft® Mobile Explorer for feature phones, giving operators, developers and consumers more choice and functionality in developing, delivering and accessing wireless information and services.
The joint company will focus on building, marketing and deploying solutions that utilize the Microsoft Windows NT® Server and Exchange platforms, and Ericsson's infrastructure and mobile Internet technologies. This will give wireless operators access to the most reliable and feature-rich communications and mobile data infrastructure.
"The mobile Internet is part of Ericsson's vision of convenient and user-friendly information access and wireless e-mail," said Kurt Hellstr ö m, president of Ericsson. "Bringing together Microsoft's strengths in Internet and enterprise messaging software and our leadership as an open communications solutions provider of mobile voice and data will offer tremendous ease of use for consumers all over the world."
"Mobile Internet access and services are crucial for realizing Microsoft's vision of empowering knowledge workers and consumers through software any time, anywhere and on any device," said Steve Ballmer, president, Microsoft. "As the world leader in mobility and mobile communications, Ericsson is an ideal partner to help deliver this vision. This partnership is a strong confirmation of our commitment to help the industry deploy new mobile products and services worldwide."
Microsoft and Ericsson also agreed to collaborate in their support of developing open industry standards -- including Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), Wireless Application Protocol and Bluetooth -- enabling next-generation wireless solutions that work more seamlessly with local area networks and other electronics products.
Companies to Collaborate on Microbrowser Technology
Ericsson will adopt Microsoft Mobile Explorer for feature phones on applicable Ericsson phones including Ericsson WAP stack. This new dual-mode microbrowser displays both HTML and WAP 1.1-compliant content, thus eliminating the need for operators and developers to choose between technologies. Microsoft Mobile Explorer is a modular mobile phone platform for enabling secure corporate data access, e-mail, Internet, location-based services and electronic commerce from feature phones and smart phones. Mobile professionals and consumers benefit by being able to access information and services based on either standard. Network operators benefit from a standard approach that can lower costs while boosting customer loyalty by providing value-added services.
Enabling End-to-End Wireless Messaging and Information Access
With the new joint company, Microsoft and Ericsson will work collaboratively to develop new solutions that seamlessly connect enterprise e-mail with public wireless e-mail services, based on Microsoft Exchange Server and Ericsson wireless infrastructure products. The companies will also use the Microsoft messaging platform to optimize client software, access technologies and applications.
The new solutions will allow users to access information, personal information managers (PIMs) and e-mail from any wireless device, while giving carriers the ability to offer services based on Microsoft Exchange.
Companies to Collaborate on Open Standards and New Technologies
Microsoft and Ericsson will fully implement current versions, and work with other partners to actively participate in the future direction of WAP, Bluetooth technology and UPnP. Also, Ericsson and Microsoft will promote the convergence of WAP and Internet standards to XML, to the benefit of networks operators and customers.
Recognizing the importance of Bluetooth technology, Microsoft and Ericsson will work together and with other Promoters in the Bluetooth SIG to evolve the technology to support future scenarios. In addition to working together to integrate Bluetooth technology into their respective products, Microsoft and Ericsson also have the mutual goal of ensuring a seamless experience for customers of Bluetooth-enabled products.
For the playback of the teleconference held on Wednesday, Dec. 8, with Bob Muglia, group vice president of the Business Productivity Group, Thomas Koll, vice president of Network Solutions Group of Microsoft, and Thorbj ö rn Nilsson of Ericsson, press should call the replay numbers below:
Access code 13745507
+44 20 82 88 4459
Access code 654872
A press conference will be held tomorrow, Thursday Dec. 9, at Grand Hotel
Spegel Salen, in Stockholm. Steve Ballmer, president of Microsoft, and Kurt Hellstrom, president of Ericsson, will serve as key spokespeople, along with Thomas Koll, vice president of the Network Solutions Group, who will be available on site for questions.
Call-in information for the press conference - listen only:
Start time: 8 a.m. EST
End time: 9 a.m. EST
North America dial-in number: (800) 252-9521
International dial-in number: + 44 20 8781 0577
Press conference replay dial in numbers:
(800) 633-8284 or (858) 812-6440
Reservation # 13745503
+ 44 20 8288 4459
Access code 654882
Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers - network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers -- the world over.
More information is available from Ericsson's Press Room at http://www.ericsson.se/pressroom/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries/regions. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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