Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq "QCOM") andMicrosoft Corp. (Nasdaq "MSFT") today announced the formation of a broadstrategic partnership to enable secure and airlink-independent Internetaccess to all mobile users. As part of the alliance, Microsoft andQualcomm have created a new joint venture company named WirelessKnowledgeLLC, an equally held company whose charter will be to bring trueconvergence to the computing and wireless communications industries.WirelessKnowledge's operating strategy includes forming strategicpartnerships with computing, software and telecommunications companies aswell as with wireless carriers including AirTouch Communications, AT&T Wireless Services, Bell Atlantic Mobile, Bell Mobility (Canada),BellSouth, GTE Wireless, Leap Wireless International, Sprint PCS and USWest Wireless.WirelessKnowledge services are built on an end-to-end architecture basedon industry-standard technologies including the Microsoft Windows CEoperating system, the Microsoft BackOffice family and Microsoft CommercialInternet System (MCIS). WirelessKnowledge will be accessible over alldigital wireless wide area networks, including those based on CDMAtechnology, GSM, TDMA, CDPD and Mobitex. WirelessKnowledge services willenable carriers to offer their mobile customers wireless access to dataand applications securely over their choice of wireless networks andenterprise systems."Increasingly powerful mobile telephones and computers andWirelessKnowledge services will together enable millions of consumers toaccess a rich variety of information any time, anyplace," said Dr. IrwinM. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm. "Further,through this Qualcomm and Microsoft joint venture, enterprises and smallbusinesses will have the power to retain their familiar enterprisesoftware but extend their reach from the field to the back office at thetouch of a button.""Wireless data is a logical extension of the Microsoft digital nervoussystem, enabling users to always be connected to their corporate andpersonal information," said Steve Ballmer, president of Microsoft."Microsoft is committed to working with partners to provide an end-to-endsolution set that is based on Internet standards. WirelessKnowledge is animportant component of this overall strategy.""The WirelessKnowledge services will be rolled out in phases," said JohnMajor, president and chief executive officer of WirelessKnowledge. "Withcommercial availability slated for the first half of next year, wirelesscarriers will be able to deliver valuable new services to their customers,regardless of technology or device preference, through the portal ofWirelessKnowledge."Through WirelessKnowledge services, brought to consumers by their wirelesscarriers, end users will be able to connect to the Internet and their ownbusiness networks from digital phones, desktop and laptop computersrunning the Windows CE, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT operatingsystems, smart phones, pagers and Web access terminals (e.g., smart TVs,Web kiosks)."The formidable partnership between WirelessKnowledge and the carriersshould dramatically enhance the wealth of data services available formobile users," said Andrew Seybold of the Andrew Seybold Consulting Group."This consortium is poised to become a leader of the wireless data andapplication services market, which is estimated to be over 20 billiondollars by the year 2002."In addition to the joint venture and as part of the broader strategicalliance, Microsoft and Qualcomm will also pursue the following:
- The integration of Windows CE into a future Qualcomm ASIC (ApplicationSpecific Integrated Circuit) chip
- The integration of Windows CE into a wide range of voice- anddata-enabled wireless devices
- A collaboration to accelerate innovation and adoption of wirelessInternet capabilities incorporating existing and developing standards suchas XML, HTTP, VoIP, and CDMA IS-95A, IS-95B and IS-95C specific standardsand Qualcomm's High Data Rate (HDR) CDMA technology
- The exploration of synergies between the evolution of voice and dataover Internet capabilities, utilizing Windows NT and Qualcomm's innovativeand scalable infrastructure architecture.
WirelessKnowledge will have headquarters in San Diego. Initial serviceofferings, available on an OEM basis to carriers in early 1999, willinclude data services to maintain messaging, e-mail, calendaring, contactlist and basic information services through the Internet, plus access toExchange-based corporate networks. Additional features and services willbe added over time.Qualcomm Inc. is a leader in developing and delivering innovativedigital wireless communications products and services based on thecompany's CDMA digital technology. The company's major business areasinclude CDMA digital phones, ASICs, wireless infrastructure, technologylicensing, and satellite-based systems including OmniTRACS and portions ofthe Globalstar system. With headquarters in San Diego, Qualcomm's fiscal1998 revenues exceeded $3 billion (U.S.). For more information, pleasevisit the company's Web site at http://www.qualcomm.com/.Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software forpersonal computers. The company offers a wide range of products andservices for business and personal use, each designed with the mission ofmaking it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of thefull power of personal computing every day.#########