SUNNYVALE, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash. — July 12, 2006 — Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: “YHOO”) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: “MSFT”) today will begin limited public beta testing of interoperability between their instant messaging (IM) services that enable users of Windows Live® Messenger, the next generation of MSN® Messenger, and Yahoo!® Messenger with Voice to connect with each other. This interoperability — the first of its kind between two distinct, global consumer IM providers — will form the world’s largest consumer IM community, approaching 350 million accounts.1
Consumers worldwide from Microsoft and Yahoo! will be able to take advantage of IM interoperability and join the limited public beta program. They will be among the first to exchange instant messages across the free services as well as see their friends’ online presence, view personal status messages, share select emoticons, view offline messages and add new contacts from either service at no cost.2 Yahoo! and Microsoft plan to make the interoperability between their respective IM services broadly available to consumers in the coming months.
“This first-of-its-kind interoperability between consumer IM leaders Microsoft and Yahoo! gives our customers tremendous control, convenience and freedom in their Web communication experiences with Windows Live,” said Blake Irving, corporate vice president, Windows Live Platform at Microsoft. “We’re proud to deliver this latest advancement in IM services that empower people to communicate with virtually whomever they want, wherever they want and whenever they want.”
“Interoperability between IM services has consistently topped our users’ wish lists, and through the collaborative efforts between Yahoo! and Microsoft we are delighted to provide our combined global users with the ultimate IM experience,” said Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of Communications, Community and Front Doors, Yahoo! “A new era for staying connected with friends and family is here, and the bridge between Yahoo!’s and Microsoft’s IM communities is bringing people around the world closer together.”
Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger with Voice users in the U.S. and more than 15 international markets can register to participate in the IM interoperability beta by visiting Yahoo! at http://messenger.yahoo.com or Microsoft at http://ideas.live.com. The new beta program will be available in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada (English and French3), China, France, Germany, Hong Kong,4 India, Italy, Korea, Mexico,4 Netherlands,3 Singapore,4 Spain, Taiwan, Turkey,3 the United Kingdom and the United States (English and Spanish).5
About Yahoo! Messenger
As one of the most popular instant messaging services on the Internet, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice makes it easier than ever for people to express themselves, interact and manage relationships with friends and family. Yahoo! Messenger with Voice is available worldwide in 19 localized versions. Yahoo! Messenger with Voice has a unique and proven history of innovation in instant messaging as the first to offer webcam functionality, the first to introduce an interactive and shared experience with IMVironments®, and the first to introduce animated emoticons. Yahoo! Messenger with Voice continues to lead the marketplace by integrating with leading Yahoo! services including games, music, photos and search, and providing the greatest choice for consumers to stay connected to one another through text IM, PC-based calling, voice calling, e-mail, video or mobile messaging. To take advantage of interoperability, download the newest PC and Mac versions of Yahoo! Messenger for Voice at http://messenger.yahoo.com.
About Windows Live Messenger
Windows Live Messenger is a free instant messaging service that allows people to connect with others in real time and express themselves in a rich, convenient and fun way. Windows Live Messenger is available in 60 countries worldwide and is used by more than 240 million active accounts each month, making it the world’s largest consumer IM service. The only IM service to offer full-screen video and the first to offer virtually unlimited file sharing, Windows Live Messenger provides customers with a window into their contacts — enabling them to chat with friends, family and colleagues online via text, voice, mobile phone or video conversation; express themselves with winks and dynamic display pictures; and share photos, files, searches and more instantly. Windows Live Messenger features tight integration with other Windows Live and MSN communication services including Windows Live Mail, MSN Hotmail® and MSN Spaces to give customers a more flexible way to connect to the people and information that matter most to them. Windows Live Messenger is available at http://messenger.live.com.
About Yahoo! Inc.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! seeks to provide online products and services essential to users’ lives, and offers a full range of tools and marketing solutions for businesses to connect with Internet users around the world. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
1 Based on internal usage figures.
2 Internet access costs may apply.
3 Localized version of Windows Live Messenger only.
4 Localized version of Yahoo Messenger with Voice only.
5 Users will need the most recent versions of the respective IM clients and need to sign up for the beta.
Microsoft, Windows Live, MSN and Hotmail are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Yahoo!, the Yahoo! logo and IMVironments are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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