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September 12, 2000

Ericsson and Microsoft move into mobile market

Bringing two heavyweights together, this partnership will spawn a series of mobile Internet applications and shift the industry's focus from consumer to corporate services as working practices 'go wireless'. This latest project will trigger defensive moves from other market players wanting to tap this lucrative - albeit un-sexy - sector.

By CBR Staff Writer

Ericsson and Microsoft have announced a mobile joint venture.

The Ericsson-Microsoft joint venture will bring Microsoft products into the mainstream of mobile data networking. It marries Microsoft’s mobile explorer browser and basic platform with Ericsson’s WAP technology to provide solutions ranging from mobile email to personal information management tools and eventually, access to corporate data. The first of these services, based around email will be available by the end of this year and will see Microsoft Outlook installed on relevant Ericsson devices with future development focused on providing data-based mobile communications services that fully integrate with Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 server platforms.

Ericsson is tapping into a new and lucrative revenue stream. As operators increasingly face pressure on network access margins, the need to provide value-added data services intensifies. In the corporate sphere, revenues – and therefore the stakes – are higher for players. The combination of Ericsson’s mobile devices and infrastructure and Microsoft’s corporate application provides a compelling solution for organizations looking for wireless functionality.

As working practices evolve, the pervasiveness of applications will become more important. This alliance will likely spawn a number of defensive moves from other market players and begin to shift media attention away from multi-media consumer content to the large potential revenue streams stemming from wireless corporate services.

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