Microsoft join forces on Web services
Denver telco to offer Windows Live on its high-speed lines
Adrian Brown © Bloomberg News
By Joyzelle Davis
Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday, June 6, 2006
Qwest Communications will be the first U.S.
telecommunications company to offer Microsoft's Windows Live
Web services, including its new suite of security software,
to high-speed Internet customers. The Denver-based telco
and Microsoft, which have had a joint- branding agreement
within Qwest's 14-state region for the past five years, say
the services will launch sometime later this year. Among
the changes Qwest's 1.7 million broadband subscribers will
notice is the ability to customize their home page and
software that automatically backs up computer files.
"It's so much more flexible and dynamic - it offers
unlimited possibilities," said Scott Russell, Qwest's
product director of high-speed Internet.
Windows Live is Microsoft's brand name for a set of mostly
free Web-based products that compete with similar services
from companies such as Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc.
Microsoft last week launched its computer maintenance
package Windows Live OneCare, a suite of security and PC
performance software that includes anti-virus and anti-spyware
protections as well as automatic data backup and a program
that self-diagnoses computer problems. Qwest will offer
OneCare, a subscription service that costs $50 a year, free
Qwest and MSN's current partnership includes e-mail
accounts, junk mail filters and Microsoft rival McAfee
Inc.'s Internet virus scanning.
Qwest customers will have the choice of sticking with the
MSN and McAfee offering or switching to Windows Live when it
MSN's Live also allows customers to customize their home
page with features including weather and the ability to
monitor their Qwest account. While Internet services have
long allowed users to customize their home page, Microsoft
has worked to make MSN Live a more graphic-rich interface
that's "very intuitive," said Quin Nikel, director of
partner product management for Microsoft's Windows Live.
Windows Live will initially be offered as a co-branded Qwest
product only on personal computers, but "given the strategic
nature of the partnership" that may expand to other
platforms, Russell said.
Qwest's broadband subscriber growth
Q1 2006 1.7 million
Q4 2005 1.5 million
Q3 2005 1.3 million
Q2 2005 1.2 million
Q4 2004 1 million
Q3 2004 956,000
Q2 2004 853,000
Q1 2004 744,000
Q4 2003 637,000
Q1 2002 484,000
Q4 2001 448,000
Source: Qwest Communications
davisj@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-892-2514.