MSN Enters 2-Way Messaging Market
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The Microsoft Network, never one to shy from pricing wars as part of its late entry into a new product market, announced Tuesday its two-way pager product for teenagers and on-the-go users.
The pager comes courtesy of Motorola's T900 series of two-way messengers and runs $159 (with a mail-in rebate of $100) for the product and costs anywhere between $14.95 to $24.95 for monthly service.
Lisa Gurry, MSN product manager, expects the Talkabout T900 2-Way with Hotmail will be popular with teens and others who want to keep up with their emails and information while on the move.
"We expect it to be quite popular," she said. "The device has actually been available by Motorola for some time without support for Hotmail from MSN, and they've been able to sell more than one million devices already. We know that the device itself is quite popular with the teen market as well as people on the go adding support for MSN Hotmail at a lower price point will make it even more compelling to a broader audience."
- Lighted QWERTY keyboard
- Address book that supports up to 250 entries
- Delivered message confirmation
- Different color schemes
The Motorola product is a popular choice with national Internet service provider EarthLink Inc., the third-largest provider in the U.S. after AOL and MSN. AOL, the largest ISP, uses a two-way pager made by Research in Motion (RIM).
MSN's entrance into the two-way messaging arena is a little late, but officials hope to make up for lost time by undercutting the price plans of it competitors. EarthLink Everywhere runs $24.95 a month for its service, while AOL's Anywhere initiative runs about $19.95 (unless you don't have a regular AOL account, in which case customers pay a little more than $40 a month).
Arch Wireless of Westborough, Mass., will provide the Internet connectivity for the MSN service. A nationwide outfit, officials promise to deliver pager connectivity throughout most of the U.S. and into Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico and Puerto Rico, according to C. Edward Baker, Jr., Arch Wireless chairman and chief executive officer.
"We are delighted to join with such a widely recognized and respected service provider as MSN to launch this exciting new wireless communication device," Baker said. "With this simple and useful device, users of MSN Hotmail can now stay in touch wirelessly with friends, family and other important people in their life whenever they want. Arch's two-way messaging network, one of the most ubiquitous and reliable networks in the country for data communications, gives users of MSN Hotmail the ability to communicate wirelessly any time and from virtually anywhere."