REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 10, 1998 — QUALCOMM Inc. (Nasdaq
) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq
) today announced the formation of a broad strategic partnership to enable secure and airlink-independent Internet access to all mobile users. As part of the alliance, Microsoft and QUALCOMM have created a new joint venture company named Wireless Knowledge LLC, an equally held company whose charter will be to bring true convergence to the computing and wireless communications industries. Wireless Knowledge’s operating strategy includes forming strategic partnerships with computing, software and telecommunications companies as well as with wireless carriers including AirTouch Communications, AT & T Wireless Services, Bell Atlantic Mobile, Bell Mobility (Canada), BellSouth, GTE Wireless, Leap Wireless International, Sprint PCS and US West Wireless.
Wireless Knowledge services are built on an end-to-end architecture based on industry-standard technologies including the Microsoft® Windows® CE operating system, the Microsoft BackOffice® family and Microsoft Commercial Internet System (MCIS). Wireless Knowledge will be accessible over all digital wireless wide area networks, including those based on CDMA technology, GSM, TDMA, CDPD and Mobitex. Wireless Knowledge services will enable carriers to offer their mobile customers wireless access to data and applications securely over their choice of wireless networks and enterprise systems.
Increasingly powerful mobile telephones and computers and Wireless Knowledge services will together enable millions of consumers to access a rich variety of information any time, anyplace,”
said Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of QUALCOMM.
“Further, through this QUALCOMM and Microsoft joint venture, enterprises and small businesses will have the power to retain their familiar enterprise software but extend their reach from the field to the back office at the touch of a button.”
“Wireless data is a logical extension of the Microsoft digital nervous system, enabling users to always be connected to their corporate and personal information,”
said Steve Ballmer, president of Microsoft.
Microsoft is committed to working with partners to provide an end-to-end solution set that is based on Internet standards. Wireless Knowledge is an important component of this overall strategy.”
The Wireless Knowledge services will be rolled out in phases,”
said John Major, president and chief executive officer of Wireless Knowledge.
With commercial availability slated for the first half of next year, wireless carriers will be able to deliver valuable new services to their customers, regardless of technology or device preference, through the portal of Wireless Knowledge.”
Through Wireless Knowledge services, brought to consumers by their wireless carriers, end users will be able to connect to the Internet and their own business networks from digital phones, desktop and laptop computers running the Windows CE, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT® operating systems, smart phones, pagers and Web access terminals (e.g., smart TVs, Web kiosks).
The formidable partnership between Wireless Knowledge and the carriers should dramatically enhance the wealth of data services available for mobile users,”
said Andrew Seybold of the Andrew Seybold Consulting Group.
“This consortium is poised to become a leader of the wireless data and application services market, which is estimated to be over 20 billion dollars by the year 2002.”
In addition to the joint venture and as part of the broader strategic alliance, Microsoft and QUALCOMM will also pursue the following:
The integration of Windows CE into a future QUALCOMM ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) chip
The integration of Windows CE into a wide range of voice- and data-enabled wireless devices
A collaboration to accelerate innovation and adoption of wireless Internet capabilities incorporating existing and developing standards such as XML, HTTP, VoIP, and CDMA IS-95A, IS-95B and IS-95C specific standards and QUALCOMM’s High Data Rate (HDR) CDMA technology
The exploration of synergies between the evolution of voice and data over Internet capabilities, utilizing Windows NT and QUALCOMM’s innovative and scalable infrastructure architecture
Wireless Knowledge will have headquarters in San Diego. Initial service offerings, available on an OEM basis to carriers in early 1999, will include data services to maintain messaging, e-mail, calendaring, contact list and basic information services through the Internet, plus access to Exchange-based corporate networks. Additional features and services will be added over time.
QUALCOMM Inc. is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on the company’s CDMA digital technology. The company’s major business areas include CDMA digital phones, ASICs, wireless infrastructure, technology licensing, and satellite-based systems including OmniTRACS® and portions of the Globalstar
system. With headquarters in San Diego, QUALCOMM’s fiscal 1998 revenues exceeded $3 billion (U.S.). For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at http://www.qualcomm.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including timely product development, the company’s ability to successfully manufacture significant quantities of CDMA or other equipment on a timely and profitable basis, and those related to performance guarantees, changes in economic conditions of the various markets the company serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended Sept. 28, 1997, and the most recent Form 10-Q.
QUALCOMM and OmniTRACS are registered trademarks of QUALCOMM Inc.
Globalstar is a trademark of Loral QUALCOMM Satellite Services Inc.
Microsoft, Windows, BackOffice and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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