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Microsoft sends alerts through Comverse

The companies partner in a .Net Alert deal that will make it possible to receive voice mail message notification through instant messaging services.

Microsoft on Monday said it will partner with Comverse Technology to offer voice mail message notification technology through its .Net Alerts service, another deal to bolster the software giant's mobile communications push.

As part of a handful of announcements from the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) conference in New Orleans this week, Comverse will integrate Microsoft's .Net Alerts and SQL Server Notification Services into its voice mail technology. Comverse's customers will be able to send voice mail notifications to people's instant messaging clients, mobile devices and e-mail in-boxes and then allow them to play back their messages.

The agreement underscores Microsoft's ongoing attempts to boost its instant messaging services by striking distribution partnerships for .Net Alerts. Although the Comverse deal includes distribution onto mobile devices and PCs, the primary vehicle for .Net Alerts is through Microsoft's two instant messaging services: Window Messenger and MSN Messenger, which themselves have mobile functions.

For Microsoft, the company is taking bold steps into selling instant messaging software to corporate clients. Earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled its new server software called Greenwich, which allows companies to add secure versions of Windows Messenger to their employees. The first incarnation of Greenwich also lets users communicate with MSN Messenger users, but only through a licensing agreement with a third party.

The software giant is also making a push into the mobile market, as evidenced by an announcement today for two models of Sprint PCS phones to use the Pocket PC software. Microsoft also announced a deal where wireless device maker Research In Motion will develop products using its software.

For Comverse, the Microsoft deal is one of many announced in conjunction with CTIA. The company said it will join with Avaya to provide mobile messaging and voice mail services to its customers, offer its cell phone handset software on Qualcomm's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) software, and support the Wireless Intelligent Network IS-826 protocol.