Microsoft and Orange Launch Orange Messenger by Windows Live, the First Convergent PC and Mobile Instant Messaging Service
Paris, October 18, 2006
* 135 million Orange customers will be able to communicate with 240 million Windows Live Messenger users
* A first offer launched early December in France, followed by other European countries in 2007
* Accessible to a very large number of users with a wide range of consumer mobile terminals
* Orange and Microsoft today announced their first convergent Instant Messaging offering for PCs and mobile. The new service, named Orange Messenger by Windows Live, will allow users to benefit from the collaboration between Orange and Microsoft® Windows Live’ Messenger.
* Likely to be as widespread as the adoption of e-mail and SMS in everyday life, Orange Messenger by Windows Live will allow users to be always connected to their contacts, on the PC and on the mobile.
* By using the Windows Live platform, the new Orange Messenger by Windows Live service will enable the 135 million France Telecom European customers (served by Orange or another brand) to smoothly interact with 240 million worldwide Windows Live Messenger users. It will provide customers with a connection to all the Orange portal services: Emails, blog, ring tones, logos and “today’s page”, while continuing to have access to the Windows Live services. A wide range of consumer mobile devices will provide customers with access to the most widely used instant messaging service in the world, with a pricing policy that will be adapted to instant messaging.
* This is the first time that two leading software and telecommunications companies have joined forces to offer an instant messaging service that can be accessed from both PC and mobile devices, and is marketed under their respective brands.
* Following its deployment in France, the UK and Spain, Orange and Microsoft will combine their expertise to offer Orange customers the following innovative services over the coming months:
+ On PC: Video over IP, multi-videoconferencing, etc.
+ On Mobile: interoperability of Orange Messenger by Windows Live with other mobile operators, SMS service continuity and 3G videoconference.
* “The launch of this new offering reflects once again the success of Orange’s convergence strategy. Our ambition is to offer simple convergent services, bringing our customers into the world of always-on connectivity”, said Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO, France Telecom. "This new phase in our alliance with Microsoft, which builds upon the experience that we have acquired over the past years, opens up new growth opportunities for our fixed and mobile activities. With this unrivalled service, which combines the best of Microsoft and Orange, our 135 million Orange European customers and the 240 million Windows Live Messenger users in the world will create the world’s largest community.
* “This launch is important for both France Telecom and Microsoft following the agreement signed last year”, said Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corp. “It demonstrates our commitment to work with partners in order to offer the best service to our customers.”
* In July 2005, France Telecom/Orange and Microsoft announced the signing of a strategic alliance agreement involving the co-development of multimedia products and services for the combined audiences of both companies. This announcement underscores France Telecom and Microsoft’s commitment to collaborating to provide services that are even more innovative by accelerating the convergence of telecommunications services, information technology and multimedia.
About France Telecom
France Telecom, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, serves 149 million customers on five continents (220 countries or territories) as of June 30, 2006 and had consolidated sales of 49 billion euros by IFRS standards in 2005 (25.9 billion euros in the first half of 2006). Launched in June 2005, the NExT program (New Experience in Telecommunications) will allow the Group to pursue its transformation as an integrated operator and to make France Telecom the benchmark for new telecommunications services in Europe. On June 2006, Orange thus became the Group’s single brand for Internet, television and mobile in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain, and Orange Business Services the brand name for the services offered to businesses worldwide. France Telecom is number two mobile operator and provider of Internet services in Europe and amongst the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies. France Telecom (NYSE: FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris Eurolist market and on the New York Stock Exchange.
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