Microsoft Signs Deal for Taiwan Broadband Development

The growth of the Internet in Asia coupled with the growing popularity of broadband Internet access prompted Microsoft Corp. to join with GigaMedia Ltd., a leading cable Internet provider in Taiwan, to offer broadband access to the island.

GigaMedia is a leading provider of cable broadband Internet access in Taiwan. It provides cable access to approximately 3.4 million households and 500,000 small and
medium business enterprises.

Under terms of the deal, Microsoft (MSFT) and GigaMedia will develop a new MSN portal specifically for broadband users in Taiwan. The portal will be based on Microsoft’s MCIS server technologies, which provide the backbone for GigaMedia’s existing services.

In addition, Microsoft will invest an undisclosed amount in GigaMedia to promote high-speed Internet services, and the two firms will work to create a new shopping channel that will be available on the narrowband MSN portal and the new broadband portal.

The alliance is another piece of Microsoft’s new “Everyday Web” strategy, which combines software with Web applications and portable devices for a comprehensive Net experience, the company said.

“We are preparing to embrace a revolutionary trend in the
convergence of information technology and communications,” said Chester Koo, chairman of GigaMedia. “This investment in broadband networks is a major step towards delivering on the promise of the Everyday Web in Taiwan.”

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