Motorola, Microsoft Partner For Public Safety

Motorola and Microsoft will jointly
develop and market software for emergency first responders, the companies
announced today.

The alliance comes as government and IT leaders examine
ways to prevent the kinds of communication breakdowns that recently hampered
hurricane rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast.

While Katrina and Rita raised awareness of real-time data transfer and system interoperability problems, public safety and defense
officials have been looking to make improvements since Sept. 11.

Motorola and Microsoft believe the new pact is a step in the right
direction. They said tying together various software on a common platform
will eliminate the need for local, state and federal agencies to cobble
together information-sharing networks — a costly and technically daunting
task.

Under today’s agreement, the mobile specialist will build applications on
the software giant’s .NET and Windows Server Systems
platforms. Motorola will shift its records management system software first,
then begin new software projects.

“Mission-critical environments demand unparalleled reliability and
continuous data access. The Microsoft platform allows us to meet, even
exceed, those demands,” Timothy Boyle, Motorola’s vice president of business
development, said in a statement.

Schaumberg, Ill.-based Motorola already has a number of government customers
for its software and wireless networks, including: Washington, D.C.,
Broward County, Florida, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Microsoft recognizes and takes seriously the growing challenge to law
enforcement, first responders and emergency management officials to
communicate vital information in real-time,” said Tom Richey, Microsoft’s
executive director of Homeland Security for the Worldwide Public Sector.

The companies did not disclose the duration or the dollar value of the new partnership.

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