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Microsoft has signed an alliance with mobile operators that will allow users to receive their Hotmail messages via SMS messages on mobile phones.

The alliance, with MIGway, a joint venture of Danish mobile outfit TDC Mobile International and CMG Wireless Data Solutions, will enable more than 40 European mobile operators to offer two-way SMS to 20 million Hotmail customers in Europe.

Users will have the option to both receive and reply to messages on the move in the first such deal for MSN Hotmail, though subscribers to other Web-based services (such as Lycos) already have the facility.

Those 90 million subscribers of Microsoft's email service outside Europe will have to wait longer.

The news has been seized upon and reported by World +dog. Of course its the way forward but precious few have pointed out the obvious point that it won't be truly useful until such time as Hotmail has a spam-blocking facility that is much improved from its present version.

Until such time mobile users who pay to receive Hotmails via SMS will be blitzed with the usual irksome array of get rich quick schemes, sexy messages from Saski, spam about bulk messages packages and the like.

It's not clear when the trail will begin and I, for one, am quiet happy to wait a while for this one to arrive... ®

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MSN gets SMS

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