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Microsoft Corp is stepping up its campaign to get Windows NT accepted into the Unix stronghold of telecommunications by teaming up with Hewlett-Packard Co. HP says it plans to deliver computing platforms for network-based telecommunications applications using Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system, and will develop crucial SS7 Signaling System 7 and voice applications for the marketplace. These should reach the market some time next year. HP currently sells its OpenCall SS7 family of software only on Unix systems. SS7 is the call control channel protocol used by public switched telecommunications systems worldwide, providing fast call set-up via high-speed, circuit switched connections, and transaction capabilities for remote database interaction. It is a crucial element for basic call control and for additional services such as mobile communications, 800-number services, long-distance caller ID and credit card/transactional services. The SS7 protocol hasn’t been supported by NT to date, although a number of initiatives are currently underway, including another joint development agreements between Microsoft and Siemens AG, signed earlier this year. Microsoft, which announced the first stages of a telecoms strategy last June (CI No 3,174) is also working with DGM&S Telecom Inc of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, a company which suppliers a number of Unix OEMs with its Omni Soft SS7 software. HP doesn’t expect Unix to disappear overnight from the shopping lists of telecoms firms, and wouldn’t like to see its own share of that business disappear, so it’s working on the integration of both Unix and NT systems into what it calls an extended network including the telecommunications infrastructure, the internet and customer’s on-site telecommunications equipment. á

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