NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 28, 2000 — Today at CTIA WIRELESS 2000, Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced an agreement with Nextel Communications Inc. and AirTouch Cellular to offer MSN™ Mobile 2.0, as well as agreements with WebLink Wireless Inc. and Totally Free Paging Inc. to offer an enhanced one-way version of MSN Mobile notifications.
The announcements came as Gates launched MSN Mobile 2.0, which extends to wireless customers such services as the MSN Hotmail ÒWeb-based e-mail service, the MSN MoneyCentral™ online personal finance service, the MSNBC.com news service and Expedia.com TM , the most popular online travel service. MSN Mobile 2.0 offers the easiest and most complete wireless solution and provides access from an unparalleled range of handheld devices, including Web-enabled mobile phones, Pocket PCs and Palm handheld computers.
“In the next few years, thanks to the growth of the wireless industry, consumers will be able to connect to the Web in new ways,”
“MSN Mobile plays a critical role in enabling the Everyday Web any time, anywhere and from any device.”
Using a Web-enabled mobile phone, Gates demonstrated ways that MSN Mobile 2.0 keeps people connected to important information from mobile devices. The demonstration showed how users can read and respond to Hotmail messages; get instant access to Expedia®
itineraries, flight status and door-to-door driving instructions; and check stock quotes from MSN MoneyCentral. To show an even richer experience, a Pocket PC was used to access MSN Mobile services, including Hotmail, Expedia and MSN eShop.
Gates also announced the intent to form a strategic alliance between Microsoft and QUALCOMM Inc. to jointly define and develop advanced wireless, multimedia-capable devices. The companies will focus on developing a smart phone hardware reference design and will then work together to promote their solution for advanced wireless devices to CDMA carriers, handset vendors, and application and content developers worldwide. The design is based on the Microsoft Mobile Explorer TM wireless communication platform and Microsoft Pocket PC using iMSM4100 Internet Mobile Station Modem (iMSM) chipset and system software solutions from QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies.
“We’ve seen impressive growth in popularity of laptop and other portable computers over the last few years,”
“The introduction of 2.5G and 3G mobile networks will spur even more dramatic growth, as knowledge workers and other professionals take advantage of high-speed connectivity. You will just come to expect that your laptop or other device will be connected. Just as cellular phones did, wireless connections for PCs and other devices will improve the way we communicate and do business.”
Gates talked about current trends in mobile communications: more capable devices such as notebooks, PDAs and smart phones, and how IP-centric networks are accelerating the move from voice-only to voice and data communications such as e-mail, calendaring, Internet content and corporate information.
The challenge, Gates added, is to bring together the Internet, corporate data, devices and users in an intelligent, manageable way. In his new role as chief software architect, Gates welcomed the challenge:
“Ultimately, communication is person-to-person and not device-to-device,”
“Individuals should be able to receive the information they want, when they want it and where they want it, without the sender having to be concerned about the communication devices involved.”
People want this kind of intelligent communication, he noted, regardless of whether they are mobile, in their office, at their PC or at home.
Gates showed how a knowledge worker might use technology by Wireless Knowledge Inc. to browse his or her inbox, contacts and calendar from a mobile phone, easily switching between data and voice calls, depending on the need. The combination of the Microsoft Windows Ò 2000 operating system and Microsoft Exchange 2000 will make possible a new generation of applications that will make access to different types of information even more convenient, he predicted.
Gates also demonstrated how Microsoft Research is looking at the question of how software can help users manage their communications by understanding the context and priority of information. He showed how a user might set priorities, define thresholds for different types of notifications, and even receive reminders while away from the office, aided by intelligent software that can determine when and where to send notices.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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, MSN, Hotmail, MoneyCentral, Mobile Explorer and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Expedia and Expedia.com are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia Inc. in the United States and Canada.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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The Microsoft booth at CTIA: #2765 in Hall D on the Exhibit level of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
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