RealTime IT News

Microsoft, HK Telecom Internet Deal Boosts Telco's Shares

Hongkong Telecom (HKT) and Microsoft have concluded an agreement that will enhance the Internet access and e-commerce services of the dominant Hong Kong ISP market share holder, according to local papers Ming Pao and the South China Morning Post.

News of the deal on Friday sent the telecom's share prices on the Hang Seng Index to HK$14, an increase of 8.95 percent.

The agreement, which was sewed up in December last year, will allow Hong Kong users to have access to more business and entertainment services on HKT's broadband network.

Microsoft's platform will permit users to play interactive games and films as well as provide users with one-time-use software at a low price.

However, the major thrust of this service will to bring Internet, TV and PC technologies together. HKT currently has a Web access set-top box service called iTV, which has had limited success.

"I reckon iTV is not penetrating the market very well," a local industry expert told InternetNews.com. "Basically, they are going to use Windows 98 to leverage the PC desktop to bring Web TV into the household."

The expert also believes that it is an attempt by HKT to exploit Microsoft's highly successful marketing power.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is arriving in the Special Administrative Region today in order to co-announce the deal with HKT's CEO, Linus Cheung, tomorrow.