MSN, Vodafone Launch PC-to-Mobile IM

Microsoft MSN and Vodafone have teamed up to launch an instant messaging service between computers and mobile phones. The service will combine some 165 million MSN Messenger users with nearly an equal number of Vodafone customers worldwide.

Customers would be able to see their contacts and swap IMs between MSN Messenger on a PC and Vodafone Messenger on mobile phones. The service between PCs and mobile phones would allow users to see messages immediately, know if a contact is online to receive a message, and view text of entire conversations.

The joint service is based on the mobile commercial model: the calling party pays. Vodafone customers would prepay or pay for the service through their monthly bills, while MSN Messenger users would pay through packages that are part of MSN Messenger.

“We have brought together two of the world’s largest messaging communities with a first of its kind for both industries—a seamless PC-to-mobile instant messaging service,” says Peter Bamford, Vodafone’s chief marketing officer. “Vodafone customers will now be able to use [IM] and its additional service benefits to stay in touch with mobile and PC friends and family. [IM] is a growing part of the increasingly important mobile messaging market. By bring our collective customers together, we’ll deliver more options for staying in touch when messaging.”

MSN Vodafone will launch the messaging service in several European counties before year’s end.

About the Author

Kathleen Ohlson is senior editor at Application Development Trends magazine.