Microsoft has decided to invest $15 million in Akamai Technologies - the equivalent of taking a one per cent stake - in a bid to boost its Internet presence.
The software giant is the latest of a string of investors to put money into Akamai, including Cisco Systems, which provided it with $49 million last month, and Apple Computer, which put in $12 million. The Microsoft deal now values the supplier at about $1.4 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, Akamai will port its proprietary software, which forms the basis of its Freeflow Internet content delivery service, to Microsoft's Windows NT operating system (OS) and will make NT based servers available to its Internet Service Provider partners. The offering previously only resided on the Linux open source OS.
Akamai also plans to integrate Microsoft's Windows Media Technology for streaming media content, into Freeflow. This enables users to listen to music and look at videos over the Internet. Microsoft's Streaming Media division has also agreed to purchase Freeflow services from Akamai.
Will Poole, general mananger of marketing and business development for Microsoft's Streaming Media division, said: "Akamai's unique content delivery technology will significantly improve the performance, reliability and scaleability of media streamed in our format, ultimately enabling content providers to offer consumers a faster and higher quality experience on the Web."
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