Microsoft is negotiating to buy a Swedish firm that integrates email networks with wireless data services, it emerged Tuesday.
Steve Balmer, the software giant's president told a packed auditorium during his keynote at Supercomm that Microsoft wants to buy the company to give it a software research and development centre in Europe's Nordic region, which is widely recognised as the world's leading mobile communications market.
Balmer used most of his time promoting NT to the audience, made up of telecoms chiefs, but admitted that Microsoft has, "a lot of work to do to continue to improve the reliability, fault tolerance and high availability of NT."
He said Microsoft wants to sell NT and Windows 2000 in the telecoms world where he sees traditional carrier networks mingling with traditional packaged software.
"The borders of what telecommunications providers do and what software vendors do are getting decidedly intermixed," he explained.
"Our goal is not to enter the world of telecommunications equipment or services but to form partnerships with companies in both of those spheres," he continued.
An example is a new deal with Sprint to develop a communications package for small businesses. The system, to be available in the summer, will provide voice and data services based on private branch exchange (PBX) equipment, Lan, the Internet and remote access server functions.
Features will include voice switching, unified messaging, Internet access and Web hosting, plus a set of bundled business applications.
Balmer also said Microsoft is working to improve the bandwidth battle for small businesses by optimising Windows 98 and Windows 2000 clients to support digital subscriber line (DSL) technology. DSL is used by carriers to add broadband capabilities to their existing copper fibre.
Reinforcing his message that the PC industry is moving closer to the telecoms world, Balmer concluded: "We see opportunities in the way in which telecommunications equipment manufacturers are looking to Intel and other PC industry technology suppliers."
"Also the degree in which customers want to see traditional voice and video communications services integrated with data services brings us together. The way in which packaged software business is becoming a service industry brings us all together. We don't have bias, we just have a core set of technologies," he said.
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