Microsoft Launches MSN Mobile on MSN.COM to Deliver Wireless Content To Cellular Phones, Handheld Devices and Pagers
Acquires OmniBrowse to Accelerate the Wireless MSN Strategy, Making MSN the First Major Internet Portal to Provide Consumers With Wireless Information Services
REDMOND, Wash. - June 14, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the launch of MSN Mobile (http://mobile.msn.com/), the newest addition to the MSN™ network of Internet services. From MSN.COM, consumers can now sign up to receive a host of wireless information services on their interactive pagers and cellular phones. MSN is the first of the major Internet portal sites to provide wireless information services, which include news, sports, weather, stock quotes, horoscopes and personal alerts.
In conjunction with the launch of MSN Mobile, Microsoft also announced it has acquired OmniBrowse Inc., a wireless data services company specializing in applications for wireless handheld devices. OmniBrowse's suite of wireless content delivery services has been incorporated into MSN Mobile.
"MSN Mobile will have a profound impact on how consumers and business use the Web," said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft. "We believe MSN Mobile will do for the Internet what the cellular phone did for the telephone."
MSN Mobile services are highly customizable, allowing consumers to control what they receive and when they receive it, and even to configure the content of each service to fit their needs or geographic location. For example, instead of receiving national sports headlines at a fixed time of day, MSN Mobile users can select a specific professional or college team to follow. Detailed, customizable weather reports are available for more than 500 U.S. cities, rather than a typical broadcast feed of temperatures for a dozen major cities that is sent to every subscriber regardless of geographic location. An agent-based server application individually delivers the personalized content to each user's wireless device.
"We share the MSN vision of putting the most powerful Web-based tools in the hands of consumers and extending their computing experience far beyond the desktop PC," said Troy Carroll, president of OmniBrowse. "In a short time, OmniBrowse has developed a comprehensive, robust set of wireless information services, and we now look forward to bringing these services to an unparalleled number of consumers through MSN Mobile."
In the coming months, information services from MSN Mobile are scheduled to be enhanced to fully leverage the wealth of services available from MSN. When fully developed, MSN Mobile will include the most popular MSN services, such as e-mail, address books and calendar features from the MSN Hotmail™ Web-based e-mail service, news, sports and weather from MSNBC; stock updates from the MSN MoneyCentral™ personal finance online service; and other Web-based content such as door-to-door driving directions.
An enhanced version of MSN Mobile is scheduled to be available later this year in conjunction with the next major upgrade of MSN.COM.
About MSN Mobile
A component of the end-to-end wireless solution from Microsoft, MSN Mobile (http://mobile.msn.com/) will allow consumers to easily access their online information wherever and whenever they want. It is based on industry standards and will be widely accessible by devices employing microbrowser technology, such as Pocket Microsoft® Internet Explorer for the Windows® CE operating system and wireless Internet access.
Microsoft plans to build strong relationships with leading wireless carriers to promote wireless Internet technology enhancements. The first such relationship was forged with Nextel Communications on May 17, when Microsoft announced it is creating a co-branded MSN-Nextel wireless portal that will provide Web-based information services for Nextel customers.
Founded in December 1997, OmniBrowse Inc. was a pioneer in the convergence of the Internet and wireless technology. Prior to its acquisition by Microsoft, the company provided personalized information services, including news, weather, sports scores, stock quotes, horoscopes, lottery results and reminder alert services, to users of interactive pagers, cellular phones, handheld computers and almost any other device with wireless connectivity.
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