Hutch and Microsoft announce mobile search alliance in India




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Hutch and Microsoft announce mobile search alliance in India
Windows Live Search for mobile and other Windows Live services to power mobile internet

New Delhi, November 8, 2006 Hutchison Essar and Microsoft Corp. have come together to announce a broad scale mobile services alliance in India. Building on the successful existing partnership between the two companies, the parties have agreed in principle to work together to provide mobile search and other key Windows Live services to Hutch’s subscriber base of over 21 million.
Upon completion of the alliance, Hutch customers in India will be able to search for and access mobile content and information in a one-stop integrated search powered by Windows Live Search for mobile - including news, sports, entertainment information and more -- directly from the World Wide Web. In addition, Hutch users will soon be able to search for local business listing and services for major Indian cities.
“With India being the fastest growing mobile market in the world, providing a rich set of online services for mobile subscribers is more important than ever,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, during his trip to New Delhi. “This alliance with Hutch allows Microsoft to partner with India’s leading mobile data services operator to bring the power of software-based services to Indian mobile customers, developers and advertisers in new and exciting ways.”
In Microsoft and Hutch’s current partnership, Microsoft powers Hutch’s mobile portal (“PlanetHutch”) and has built and manages Hutch’s Fun Cards platform (prepaid card for downloading value added services for its customers). Microsoft and Hutch will be extending this alliance to allow advertisers and content partners to reach mobile customers by the broad availability of paid search in the Indian mobile market. Also included in the alliance are Windows Live services such as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Spaces. Through these community driven services Hutch customers soon will be able to access their online world of relationships, information and interests from their Hutch phones.
“The Mobile Internet is the way forward for the Internet – and in this area, we have had a wonderful relationship with Microsoft over the years. We were the first to launch MSN Messenger and Hotmail on mobile phones in India. We have always believed in giving our customers services that help simplify their life. We have partnered with various global service providers like Microsoft on an open access principle to help us achieve this objective. It is terrific to be extending this relationship to help provide the entire Windows Live suite to our customers. And of course, it comes with a great search engine,” said Asim Ghosh, Managing Director, Hutchison Essar.
Commenting on the alliance, Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India, said, “Hutch’s leadership in the expanding mobile data services sector coupled with the breadth and innovation offered by Microsoft’s Windows Live services, means this alliance is well positioned to accelerate the Indian mobile internet market. Together, we are committed to empower and provide customers with the best of mobile services in India”.

About Hutchison Essar Limited

Hutchison Essar with over 21 million* mobile users under the Hutch brand, is one of the most reputed telecom companies in India. Over the years, it has been named the 'Most Respected Telecom Company', the 'Best Mobile Service in the country', and the 'Most Creative and Most Effective Advertiser of the Year'.

Hutch offers a wide range of user-friendly services that help in making a customer’s life simple and also fulfill all his entertainment and information requirements. Hutch has been a pioneer in India to provide innovative services like video clips on a 2.5 G network, Mobile Banking, MSN Hotmail & Messenger on Hutch phones, Java Games, HutchMail, a Voice recognition portal and many more such initiatives.

*Figures from Cellular Operators Association of India, Sep 30, 2006



About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.



About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software-any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft has been in India since 1990 and employs over 4000 people across its offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.



For more information:

Hutchison Essar Contacts

Ritika Nijhawan Sumedha Puniani

ritika.nijhawan@bm.com sumedha.puniani@bm.com

+91 98117 10099 +91 98993 95145


Ambuj Dixit

ambuj.dixit@bm.com

+9198190 63868

MSN & Windows Live Contacts

Shane Jacob Kunal Dutt

shane@the-practice.net kunal@the-practice.net

+919342658353 +919324272174


Snigdha Saumya

snigdha@the-practice.net



+919350211270


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