Microsoft, Ericsson announce strategic partnership to drive mobile Internet market

- Partnership to deliver vision of convenient and fast access to information any time, anywhere, on any device; Ericsson and Microsoft to form joint company

Microsoft Corp. and Ericsson today announced a strategic partnership to develop and market end-to-end solutions for the wireless Internet, based on a shared vision of convenient and fast access to information anytime, 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 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 Hellström, 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), WAP 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 and this solution will include the 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 company 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 the Microsoft Exchange platform.

Companies to Collaborate on Open Standards and New Technologies

Microsoft and Ericsson will fully implement current versions and work with other partners to develop the 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.

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