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5/3/2007
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Microsoft Acquires Mobile Software Maker

Screen Tonic SA's software could help Microsoft connect advertisers with mobile device users.

Microsoft on Thursday said it had acquired Screen Tonic SA, a European manufacturer of software designed to connect advertisers with users of mobile phones and other digital devices.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Screen Tonic's STAMP (Structural Time Series Modeling) technology is designed to format digital ads for all major mobile phone platforms. Its customers and partners include McDonald's, Reebok and Coca Cola.

Paris-based Screen Tonic's offerings will be added to Microsoft's Online Services Group, Microsoft said. The group posted an 11% year-over-year gain in revenues in Microsoft's third quarter, but its $623 million in quarterly sales is dwarfed by rival Google's multi-billion dollar online advertising business.

Microsoft officials said they are confident that the acquisition, along with other efforts the company is making to bolster its Web advertising services, will help close the gap. "The acquisition of Screen Tonic will be part of our long term strategy to deliver ad experiences," said Steve Berkowitz, senior VP for the Online Services Group, in a statement.

Separately, Microsoft said Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of Tellme Networks, a Mountain View, CA-based developer of voice recognition software. The final price was not announced.

Microsoft originally announced its intention to buy out Tellme Networks in mid-March.

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