Microsoft Launches Communications Sector Alliance Program for Telecommunications Providers

REDMOND, Wash. — June 27, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the Communications Sector Alliance Program (CSAP), an initiative created to enable service providers to promote and develop new customer solutions. The program, which is offered through the Microsoft® Partner Solutions Center (MPSC), is designed to help communications companies with a strong commitment to Microsoft technologies maintain their industry leadership and foster further innovation by taking advantage of the most advanced and up-to-date development and testing facilities at Microsoft.

CSAP is designed for service provider partners that are developing or offering Microsoft-based solutions or hosted service offerings. It gives CSAP partners a unique opportunity to work closely with key Microsoft teams to help accelerate solutions development. The program builds upon the MPSC’s existing partner community and resources to create a communications-focused ecosystem of network equipment providers, independent software providers, carriers and systems integrators. Bell Canada, Canada’s leading telecommunications provider, and Swisscom Mobile, Switzerland’s largest mobile operator, have already signed up to take advantage of the program.

Bell Canada is collaborating with Microsoft to develop integrated services designed to help Bell Canada’s small and midsize business (SMB) customers increase their productivity and have access to reliable and security-enhanced solutions. For example, Bell Canada is in market trials with a Productivity Suite, an integrated offering that includes telecom services such as DSL Internet connectivity, data backup, security features and 24×7 user support with subscription-based Microsoft Office 2003 software and Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2005 services — a first in Canada.

“The Communications Sector Alliance Program has enabled and Microsoft to combine their strengths to help bring new value-added services to the SMB market,” said Howard Morton, vice president of Strategic Ventures and Alliances for Canada’s Small and Medium Business Group. “The first concrete examples are the recent market trials of Bell Canada’s Productivity Suite and the creation of a joint innovation center to accelerate commercialization of new technologies. This is a great fit with Bell Canada’s initiative to extend its IT capabilities and create new opportunities to provide a full range of integrated IT and telecom solutions that SMB customers can afford, and clearly furthers our goal of becoming a leading trusted technology adviser in Canada.”

As a member of CSAP, Swisscom Mobile will take advantage of Microsoft resources to achieve the best user experience for mobile users of Microsoft-based products. Participation in programs such as CSAP will assist the company in areas that are critical to its growth and the success of its innovative products, such as its Mobile Unlimited product. Mobile Unlimited customers can have easy, fast and security-enhanced access to e-mail, the Internet and company records, wherever customers happen to be, while automatically detecting and selecting the fastest connection available.

“Swisscom Mobile has the reputation of being at the forefront of the industry, offering the most up-to-date services and solutions to its customers in Switzerland. Our product, Mobile Unlimited, which was recently named the best mobile enterprise solution at the 3GSM Congress in Cannes, has been extensively tested in a Microsoft software environment,” said Christian Petit, head of product marketing at Swisscom Mobile.

“The goal of Microsoft Communications Sector Alliance Program and the Microsoft Partner Solutions Center is to help providers maintain a competitive edge and take full advantage of today’s business opportunities,” said Jarmo Paukkunen, director of the MPSC. “Having leading service providers such as Swisscom Mobile join the program is major validation for the value we bring to the industry.”

About Microsoft Partner Solutions Center

The Microsoft Partner Solutions Center is part of Microsoft’s Communications Sector business unit and is located in Redmond, Wash. The MPSC is a 21,000-square-foot facility showcasing Microsoft and partner solutions. The MPSC offers $100 million in equipment resources, training facilities, meeting rooms and lab space for end-to-end solution development.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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