Microsoft, Otto team on e-commerce

Microsoft and German retailer Otto Group agree to develop new online shopping applications.

Microsoft and Otto & Co., one of Europe's largest mail-order and online retailers, have agreed to collaborate in the area of e-commerce application development, the companies said Monday.

The primary aim of their partnership will be to jointly develop online shopping applications -- based on Microsoft Windows technology -- across PC, TV and wireless platforms.

One of the projects, Digital Lifestyle Shopping, will be based on Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

Microsoft plans to demonstrate the interactive shopping system at the Cebit trade show in Hannover, Germany, next month and later in the year at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

The Otto Group, with annual revenue of around Euro 14 billion (US$18 billion), has also agreed to join Microsoft's Smarter Retailing initiative. The initiative aims to help retailers improve sales and operations by delivering advanced applications for digital devices such as smart phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) as well as RFID (radio frequency identification) tags.

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