Microsoft and Vodafone Partner to Create New Business OpportunitiesSpanning the Computing and Mobile Worlds

GENEVA, Oct. 13, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. and Vodafone today outlined their plans to help create mobile Web services standards that will enable new business opportunities for application developers and mobile network operators and deliver new integrated services for customers across fixed (wired) and wireless networks.



Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect, meets with Ian Maxwell of Vodafone at the Telecommunication Union Telcom World 2003 convention in Geneva, October 12, 2003. Click image for high-res version.

Mobile Web services will utilize existing industry standard Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based Web services architecture to expose mobile network services to the broadest audience of developers. Developers will be able to access and integrate mobile network services such as messaging, location, authentication and billing into their applications. The companies’ efforts will help expand commercial opportunities for developers to further promote their applications and enable solutions that work seamlessly across PC and mobile environments. Customers will be able to use mobile Web services from multiple devices on both wired and wireless networks.

During a keynote presentation at ITU Telecom World 2003, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft, and Ian Maxwell, group strategic relationship director of Vodafone, outlined the companies’ vision of providing developers with access to mobile services using industry-standard Web services techniques and tools. Microsoft and Vodafone called upon the industry to embrace this approach to bring about the convergence of PC and mobile applications and services through Web services standards. The companies also announced their plans to detail a technical road map of the mobile Web services specifications on which they intend to collaborate and seek industry engagement.

“With the creation of mobile Web services standards, developers and operators will be able to deliver new and exciting services to customers. By bringing mobile services into the PC world, Microsoft and Vodafone are offering developers the opportunity to create greater-value services for customers and new revenues,” Maxwell said.

“Web services are already redefining the way that customers build applications,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Servers and Tools at Microsoft. “Extending Web services into the mobile world is a natural next step. Microsoft and Vodafone are committed to working across the computing and mobile industries to speed the development of mobile Web services.”

Evolving the Software Model

Web services create new and exciting possibilities for the mobile telecommunications market. By using mobile Web services, developers can create more compelling user experiences that allow PC-based applications to take advantage of services formerly reserved for mobile devices, such as mobile messaging, location, billing and authentication. By integrating mobile services into their software, developers gain more flexibility in how their applications create value. Mobile network operators can extend their businesses by making their network services available to the broadest audience of developers and software users.

Laying the Foundation for the Vision

As a global player in the mobile telecommunications market, Vodafone has more than 123 million customers throughout the world. Vodafone’s proven track record in supporting millions of consumers accessing mobile network services makes it an ideal leader to show how mobile services can extend to the PC. Microsoft’s leadership in application development and its Web services expertise complement Vodafone’s mobile services expertise. Microsoft and Vodafone expect that other companies will recognize the potential of Web services within the PC and mobile space and join this effort.

Industry Call to Action

At the Microsoft®
Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles Oct. 27– 30, Microsoft and Vodafone will share a technical road map for specifications that address such issues as integrating GSM-based security services with the Web services architecture, as well as exposing location, messaging and payment network services using the Web services architecture. Microsoft and Vodafone will invite industry feedback on the mobile Web services efforts announced, and introduced a series of industry workshops, the first of which will be in London in January 2004. The companies will release a joint white paper further detailing their vision for the PC and mobile space convergence at the PDC. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/mobilewebservices/ and http://www.vodafone.com/ .

About Vodafone

Vodafone provides a full range of mobile telecommunications services, including voice and data communications. Vodafone has equity interests in 26 countries and Partner Networks in a further 9 countries, serving 123 million proportionate customers.

Vodafone is a truly global organisation, recognised worldwide for its quality of service and product innovation.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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 is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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