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MSN on the alert with MessageCast acquisition

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Microsoft has bought MessageCast, the messaging and alerts technology startup that provides the foundation for its MSN Alerts service, for an undisclosed sum.

MSN's Alerts has been based on MessageCast's technology since 2003, but this move will allow Microsoft greater access to the technology, and means the alerts service will be extended to new content channels, the company said.

Microsoft described the move as a natural progression of the relationship between the two companies, and said that the integration of the two businesses would mean a better service for customers. MSN will also maintain support for MessageCast's other customers.

Royal Farros, the co-founder and CEO of MessageCast, says he plans to work closely with the MSN Alerts team during the transition.

"Microsoft and MessageCast have created a significant information channel for consumers," said Farros. "It's incredibly innovative and effective, leverages RSS, and the best part is the customer is totally in control. This is obviously a significant milestone, and we're very pleased to join the MSN team."

MSN alerts is an opt-in service that users can set to alert them to breaking news, traffic information, weather warnings and so on. It draws its information from a range of sources, including Fox Sports, MSNBC, Weather.com, and so on. ®

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