Microsoft Launches Connected Services Sandbox

HONG KONG — Dec. 4, 2006 — Today at ITU Telecom World 2006, Microsoft Corp. launched the Connected Services Sandbox, a new program designed to unite independent software vendors (ISVs), developers, systems integrators (SIs), network equipment providers (NEPs) and telecommunications service providers in developing and testing new compelling communications services and, ultimately, bringing these new services to market. The Sandbox will encourage the creation of “managed network mash-ups” in which Web services are combined with traditional telecommunications offerings, and then can be offered through the Software as a Service (SaaS) model and delivered across virtually any type of network or device.

“Currently, operators are offering network services such as voice, video and data services either individually or in service packages,” said Michael O’Hara, general manager for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “Operators now can open their networks to next-generation Web 2.0 applications that can be mashed together with traditional services to create new connected services — the foundation of Telco 2.0. The goal of the Sandbox is to facilitate the rapid development and market deployment of scores of new service offerings, creating new opportunities for Sandbox participants and delivering new options for consumers and businesses.”

The Connected Services Sandbox is accessible on the Internet and facilitates idea generation and integration with publicly available Web services from Microsoft and others. There are thousands of examples of publicly exposed Web services, including Windows Live™, Microsoft® MapPoint®, Amazon, eBay, Google and Yahoo!. In addition, the Sandbox will initially offer a number of Microsoft products and solutions for participants to utilize, including Microsoft Connected Services Framework, Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration, Microsoft Solution for Windows®-based Hosting and Microsoft Customer Care Framework.

Founding participants in the Connected Services Sandbox include Microsoft and the following leading ISVs, SIs, NEPs, developers and service providers:

  • Bell Canada, Canada’s national leader in communications, with 28 million customer connections across the country

  • BT, one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific

  • Ensim, ISV and leading supplier of service enablement and automation software for hosted IP and application services

  • Nortel, NEP, SI and recognized leader in delivering next-generation carrier and enterprise communications capabilities

  • Ubiquity Software Corp., ISV and telecom market leader offering an SIP Application Server used to deliver real-time telephony services

  • Schakra, SI and software services company providing a wide range of technology solutions to enterprises

  • Tech Mahindra (formerly known as Mahindra-British Telecom Ltd.), SI and a global leader in providing end-to-end IT services and solutions to the Telecom industry

Participants in the Sandbox are provided with the components necessary to create innovative services that can be taken to market rapidly. The Connected Services Sandbox offers the following key benefits to its participants:

  • Products, early exposure to Microsoft products and solutions

  • Developers, access to trained Microsoft developers, designers and architects

  • Services, feedback mechanism for the reporting of usage trends, scenarios and popularity of published services

  • Business opportunities, new business opportunities, collaboration opportunities through the Microsoft Communications Sector Partner Network, and immediate exposure to Microsoft field sales organization and customers

  • Marketing support, promotion of the Sandbox through press releases, industry events, marketing and sales collateral, and community-based support tools for the technical audience including newsgroups, newsletters, white papers, announcements and how-to articles

Fuelling Innovation Through Competition

To stimulate the development of new services, Microsoft, together with BT, will launch a series of design and development competitions to identify innovative connected services that can be taken to market. Participants will collaborate and compete to generate new service designs and build functional prototypes of those designs. As a sponsor of the initial competitions, BT will have early exposure, visibility and access to the winning services including the ability to test and deploy the prototype services.

“We’re committed to driving and enabling innovation by and for our customers” said Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Business. “The competitions enable us to evaluate different technology offerings and test potential mashups. The Sandbox also supports our 21st Century Network initiatives as we are dedicated to providing new, innovative services to our customers that help them to thrive.”

The competitions will begin January 2007. The Connected Services Sandbox and competitions will be open to the more than 6 million developers and 75,000 ISVs/IHVs (independent hardware vendors) worldwide working on Microsoft platforms.

More information about participation in the Connected Services Sandbox is available by visiting

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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