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April 22, 1994

BILL GATES EXPLAINS HIS MICROSOFT AT WORK JOINT VENTURE WITH NIPPON TELEGRAPH & TELEPHONE

By CBR Staff Writer

In Tokyo late last month, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp, and Masashi Kojima, president of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, announced further details of the alliance between the two for services for the so-called information superhighway. As Bill Gates put it, the concept is to use the Nippon Telegraph F-Net system to provide added value in the transmission of fileable facsimile messages, broadcasting to multiple receivers, or providing store-and-forward facilities. The two companies expect to overcome the technical issues in linking Microsoft At Work products and the F-Net system within a year. The exact business models for the value chain for this joint new service and others in the future digital highways have not yet been decided, said Gates, but service providers such as Nippon Telegraph would probably act as a usage fee collector, passing some percentage of the service revenue to other participants such as Microsoft and the content providers. Gates termed his new personal investment in Teledesic Corp high risk but very interesting for the opportunity it offered to be part of the infrastructure-building process through a new approach to satellites, which would directly connect to portable wireless devices.

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