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InfoSpace.com, Microsoft Merge Instant Messaging

In the latest of a flurry of instant messaging deals, InfoSpace.com and Microsoft Corp. Monday merged their instant messenging services.

The companies integrated the tools for access through InfoSpace.com's personal desktop portal to let clients send and receive instant messages anytime, anywhere and on any device. Also, MSN Instant Messenger users will now have access to InfoSpace.com's (INSP) comprehensive services.

InfoSpace.com's service provides instant messaging that hosts a user's messaging profile and group lists on the server. Incoming messages can be routed to one-way and two-way mobile devices, even when the user's computer is turned off. From mobile devices, users can also access group lists, see who is online and available for messaging and send and receive messages.

"We have the only instant messenger technology that is peer-to-peer and device independent. By teaming with Microsoft (MSFT), we've extended our services to all MSN Instant Messenger users, allowing them to utilize Internet services from a wide variety of devices," said Naveen Jain, chairman and CEO, InfoSpace.com. "This is yet another example of how we are executing our vision of delivering the most comprehensive information and services on the Internet -- anytime, anywhere and on any device."

InfoSpace.com is a global Internet information infrastructure company with an affiliate network of more than 2,100 Web sites. Last Friday, InfoSpace spent $30 million to launch the InfoSpace.com Venture Capital Fund, which will contribute to start-up companies that may contribute to InfoSpace.com's success in the future.

Seeking for a place in the e-commerce sector, InfoSpace.com in November bought eCom Live, a provider of Web-based collaboration and interaction software designed for e-commerce for $29.5 million.