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Gates scores BackOffice deal with phone company

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Bill Gates' swing through Europe this week has won its first concrete result - a potentially lucrative BackOffice-to-Windows CE deal with Italian mobile phone consortium Wind. Wind is effectively a green-field site, having only recently won Italy's third mobile phone licence; it's a consortium of state-owned energy company ENEL and partner European telcos Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. The deal may therefore give Microsoft the opportunity to increase its penetration in the parent companies. According to a memorandum of understanding signed by Microsoft and Wind, the companies will develop new services, largely service centres, access networks, accounting and management control systems as well as customer support and Intelligent Network (IN) systems. The services will use Internet and intranet technology, Microsoft Office and BackOffice products, and Windows CE, so the Wind deal could turn out to be one of Microsoft's first major NT Terminal Server deals as well. ®

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