June 14, 2000 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG and Microsoft Announce Strategic Alliance to Deliver Next-Generation Mobile Phones

REDMOND, Wash., and SEOUL, South Korea -- June 13, 2000 -- At a press conference today in Seoul, Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. announced an agreement to design, develop and market a new line of innovative mobile phones based on Microsoft software. As part of the agreement, Samsung will be the first handset manufacturer to design a range of phones for both GSM (global system for mobile communications) and CDMA (code division multiple access) networks using the Microsoft?Mobile Explorer?wireless communication platform for feature phones and the Microsoft smart phone platform. The alliance was announced today at a meeting between Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and Samsung Executive Vice President and CEO KT Lee.

"We are pleased to be working with Samsung to create a new generation of smart phones," Gates said. "As a leading supplier of CDMA phones, Samsung's innovation in mobile handsets coupled with Microsoft's advanced software will give customers exciting new features, access to new forms of wireless communications, information and entertainment services any time, any place."

"We are impressed with Microsoft's end-to-end wireless vision," Lee said. "The level of integration between Microsoft's mobile phones and mobile operator products are a key differentiator and the reason for selecting their solution for Samsung. We expect some truly innovative products to result from the combination of Microsoft's expertise in developing customizable, application-rich, easy-to-use phone software and Samsung's proven record of mobile phone hardware innovation including miniaturization, device screen technology, power management and silicon development."
Microsoft expects Samsung's feature phones, powered by Microsoft Mobile Explorer, to be available in the second half of 2000. Smart phone solutions from Samsung using the Microsoft smart phone platform are expected to be available in 2001. This commitment builds on the successful relationship Samsung and Microsoft have had in trials of Microsoft Mobile Explorer with mobile operators such as British Telecom's global venture, Concert.

As part of their cooperation, the two companies will also work with mobile operators to help define and drive mobile products for third-generation (3G) wireless networks. Smart phone solutions powered by the advanced software capability of the Microsoft smart phone platform are expected to reach their full potential when the broadband networks of 3G are realized.

About Microsoft Phone Solutions
Microsoft mobile phone solutions are a key component of Microsoft's end-to-end wireless strategy to provide mobile Internet solutions that utilize additional technologies such as Microsoft Exchange Server, the BackOffice?family and MSN?Mobile Service. For feature phones, Microsoft Mobile Explorer is an operating system independent micro-browser solution. For smart phones, the Microsoft smart phone platform is a product built on a version of the Microsoft Windows?CE 3.0 operating system specifically optimized for mobile phones to extend battery life and reduce memory requirements. Microsoft mobile phone solutions are designed to deliver wireless data services such as secure corporate data access, e-mail, personal information management (PIM), secure Web access, location-based services and electronic commerce.

The following initial configurations will be supported by Microsoft:

Feature phones are powered by Microsoft Mobile Explorer, an operating-system-independent, air-link agnostic, browser-based solution that enables secure corporate or personal access to e-mail, personal information and the Internet when connected to a wireless network. Other features include graphics support, a dual-mode browser that can display both HTML- and WAP 1.2-authored Internet content, and full interoperability across leading WAP gateway products

Smart phones are powered by the Microsoft smart phone platform and are designed to support more powerful wireless data computing on high-resolution display devices that are capable of running a full suite of online and offline e-mail, PIM and Internet applications. The Microsoft smart phone platform is built on a version of Windows CE 3.0 specifically optimized for mobile phones to extend battery life and reduce memory requirements. This will enable services including over-the-air data synchronization, hosting of third-party applications, corporate access using standard VPN technology and receipt of new multimedia content.

About Samsung
Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., with 1999 sales revenue of $22.8 billion (U.S.), is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korean-based firm has operations in 50 countries with 54,000 employees worldwide. The company consists of three main business units: Digital Media, Semiconductors and Information & Telecommunications. More information is available at http://www.samsungnetwork.com/.

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