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By Julian Matthews



TMnet ties-up with Microsoft for co-branded portal

February 03 2000, Kuala Lumpur -- Malaysia's leading Internet service provider TMnet is teaming up with Microsoft Malaysia to enhance its portal with a new range of features.

''We will add various bells and whistles and put in richer content from our stable of properties under the MSN brand," said Jason Lim, Microsoft Malaysia consumer group director.

The features include real-time chat, search, instant messaging, online events, directory services and various local, regional and global content from MSN content partners.

"We hope to make the portal more fun and informative for users to stay in touch, make smarter purchase decisions, and get more things done," said Lim.

Lim said the improved co-branded TMnet-MSN portal will be launched in March after the deal is inked within the next two weeks with TMnet owner Telekom Malaysia.

TMnet and MSN will share the advertising and e-commerce revenues generated from the portal in an undisclosed split. Lim added the re-design will be a joint effort between both parties and a ten-man team will be set up soon.

TMnet currently has an estimated 350,000 subscribers while Microsoft's MSN Malaysia portal has a million registered users from Malaysia, including those with popular Hotmail accounts.

Lim said the existing MSN Malaysia portal will be linked to the improved TMnet site but will continue to be developed through various partnerships with local and international content providers and niche portal players.

Microsoft Corporation announced two weeks ago that it planned to expand its Asian portals this year and targetted six countries in the region including Malaysia, Korea, HongKong, Taiwan, Singapore and India.

Each site has access to the content on the MSN parent network and also contains customized, local content with local language content in the Korean, Hong Kong and Taiwanese sites.

MSN is available in over 30 countries and regions with over 40 localized sites.

(Published in CNET Asia, February 03 2000)

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