Microsoft creates unit for mobile content delivery

Microsoft Corp. has created a new business unit that will develop product packages for the fledgling market of content delivery to mobile devices, the company said Thursday.

The new Communications and Mobile Solutions unit will sell to fixed and mobile phone operators, Web hosting providers and entertainment and media companies, said Maria Martinez, a new Microsoft hire who heads up the unit as corporate vice president.

Martinez spent nine years at Motorola Corp. and 12 years at Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Bell Laboratories. At Microsoft, the telecommunications industry veteran's job is to grow the software maker's business in the communications sector and compete with players including IBM Corp., Martinez said.

To do that, Microsoft plans to combine its products with partner products and services and offer a bundle that will allow customers to be up and running with content delivery services in a couple of months, she said. The first results of the new business unit's work are to be presented at the ITU Telecom World 2003 event next month in Geneva.

A new Microsoft bundle, for example, could allow a mobile phone operator to quickly set up a service to deliver music to cell phones, Martinez said. The bundle would include Microsoft products, such as its server software, products from partners as well as content from Microsoft media partners, she said.

The Communications and Mobile Solutions unit replaces the old Network Service Provider Solutions business unit. The entertainment industry was added because Microsoft sees a lot of similarities between what is happening in the entertainment space and the communications space when it comes to delivering services, Martinez said.

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