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Microsoft in talks to get shot of MSN

AT&T's enthusiasm has cooled, so it seems

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AT&T has walked away from a deal with Microsoft -- for the time being at least -- that would have handed all its Internet media properties including Microsoft Network to the telecoms giant According to a report in USA Today , two of AT&T's top men, Michael Armstrong and John Zeglis, visited Bill Gates' home last autumn and discussed the deal over dinner. Sources close to both companies confirm that AT&T was looking to fuse MSN with its own WorldNet Internet service provider and to buy a stake in the MSN portal and its Web-based Slate magazine. In return, it's reported that not only would Microsoft have wanted a large cash sum, it also sought to have AT&T adopt and promote Windows NT. Although AT&T believes the talks have been put on the back boiler, Microsoft believes they are still open, USA Today said. Neither company was available for comment. ®

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