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Microsoft Seeks Partners To Combine Web Services, Telecom

The Connected Services Sandbox supports the creation of "managed network mash-ups" that combine Web services with traditional telecommunications offerings, such as voice, video, and data services.
Microsoft has launched a program to attract partners in developing and testing communication services that combine Web services with traditional telecommunications offerings, such as voice, video, and data services.

The Connected Services Sandbox is aimed at independent software vendors, developers, system integrators, network equipment providers, and telecommunication service providers. The program is designed to support the creation of "managed network mash-ups" in which combined Web and telecom services are offered through a software-as-a-service model and delivered across any type of network or device.

Public-exposed Web services that could be incorporated include Microsoft's Windows Live and MapPoint services, as well as offerings from Internet companies Amazon.com, eBay, Google, and Yahoo, said Microsoft. Sandbox would initially offer a number of Microsoft products to participants, including the Connected Services Framework, the Customer Care Framework, and Microsoft solutions for hosted messaging and collaboration and for Windows-based hosting.

Besides Microsoft, founding Sandbox members include Bell Canada, U.K. telecom company BT, Ensim, Nortel, Ubiquity Software, Schakra, and Tech Mahindra. Membership benefits include early access to Microsoft products, as well as collaboration with the company's developers, designers, and architects.

Microsoft has launched a Web site for companies interested in the project. The company unveiled the program Monday at the ITU Telecom World 2006 conference in Hong Kong.