Verizon, Microsoft to Join Forces

By early 2007, Verizon Communications will bundle a variety of Microsoft software services into its broadband Internet access package, the companies said Tuesday.

Verizon and Microsoft will create a co-branded portal modeled on Microsoft's Live.com, its customizable online search page. Verizon's brand name will also be integrated into other Microsoft Live services aimed at the carrier's customers.

Those services will include Live Mail, Microsoft's upgrade for its Hotmail e-mail service, Live Messenger for chat, Windows Live OneCare safety scanner, a free PC maintenance tool accessible through the Internet, and Live Toolbar, an Internet browser search add-on.

Customizable Content

Verizon said the partnership will allow its broadband customers to have a more personalized Internet experience. For example, Microsoft's Live.com portal can be customized to reflect a user's news and content preferences.

The service will be available to Verizon customers who use the carrier's digital subscriber line and its Fios fiber-optic broadband services.

Verizon and Microsoft have promoted their software and services together since 2002. Earlier this year, the companies launched Windows Live Call, a paid PC-to-phone calling system.

Microsoft has been rolling out a wave of new online services under its Live brand, a range of online applications that compete with similar offerings from Google and Yahoo. The software vendor has said some of the services will be free, with revenue coming from online advertising.

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