Monday, December 12, 2005

MSN/ MCI Offer 2 Cent/Minute PC-to-PSTN Calling

Microsoft and MCI announced a global, multiyear partnership for consumer PC-to-phone telephony. The solution, MCI Web Calling for Windows Live Call, will be available through Windows Live Messenger, the upcoming successor to MSN Messenger. A beta version of the service is available in the U.S. and the companies expect to jointly deliver the PC-to-phone calling capabilities to France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom in the coming weeks. Once subscribed to the service, customers can place calls to and from more than 220 countries with rates starting at $.023 per minute to the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Western Europe during the beta testing period. Upon sign-up, MCI Web Calling customers will receive up to one hour of free calls. Final pricing will be determined when the product officially launches in 2006.


Customers will be able to sign up for MCI Web Calling via the Windows Live Messenger client. MCI will manage customer registration, terminating calls, customer account management, customer support and billing for the PC-to-phone voice service, and will work closely with Microsoft on delivering a high-quality software service and customer experience. Customers will purchase prepaid calling time from MCI in $5, $10 or $25 blocks for use with the service.


Microsoft claims more than 185 million active MSN Messenger accounts worldwide. MSN attracts more than 440 million unique users worldwide per month, and offers localized versions in 42 markets and 21 languages.http://ideas.live.com
http://www.mci.com

  • In November 2005, Microsoft previewed two new Internet-based software initiatives --"Windows Live" and "Microsoft Office Live " -- that will use technologies such as RSS and Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) to deliver personalized services online. Windows Live will be offered alongside MSN.com and will primarily be delivered free to users and supported by advertising, but subscription and transaction-based services also will be available. Users will be able to run Windows with or without the Windows Live services.

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