Hutchison Essar and Microsoft Corp have come together to provide mobile search and other key Windows Live services to Hutch’s subscriber base of over 21 million in India.
Upon completion of the alliance, Hutch customers in India will be able to search for and access mobile content and information in a one-stop integrated search powered by Windows Live search for mobile – including news, sports, entertainment information and more – directly from the World Wide Web. In addition, Hutch users will soon be able to search for local business listing and services for major Indian cities.
“With India being the fastest growing mobile market in the world, providing a rich set of online services for mobile subscribers is more important than ever,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft, at Delhi on Wednesday. “This alliance with Hutch allows Microsoft to partner with India’s leading mobile data services operator to bring the power of software-based services to Indian mobile customers, developers and advertisers in new and exciting ways,” he added.
In Microsoft and Hutch’s current partnership, Microsoft powers the latter’s mobile portal – PlanetHutch – and has built and manages Hutch’s Fun Cards platform. Microsoft and Hutch will be extending this alliance to allow advertisers and content partners to reach mobile customers by the broad availability of paid search in the Indian mobile market.
Also included in the alliance are Windows Live services such as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Spaces. Through these community driven services, Hutch customers would soon be able to access their online world of relationships, information and interests from their Hutch phones.
“Mobile Internet is the way forward for the Internet, and in this area, we’ve had a wonderful relationship with Microsoft over the years. We were the first to launch MSN Messenger and Hotmail on mobile phones in India. We have always believed in giving our customers services that help simplify their life. We have partnered with various global service providers like Microsoft on an open access principle to help us achieve this objective. It is terrific to be extending this relationship to help provide the entire Windows Live suite to our customers. And of course, it comes with a great search engine,” said Asim Ghosh, Managing Director, Hutchison Essar.
Commenting on the alliance, Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India, said, “Hutch’s leadership in the expanding mobile data services sector, coupled with the breadth and innovation offered by Microsoft’s Windows Live services, means this alliance is well positioned to accelerate the Indian mobile Internet market. Together, we are committed to empower and provide customers with the best of mobile services in India.”