Bell Canada and Microsoft have formed a strategic alliance today that begins a five-year move to join the MSN Portal with Sympatico’s Canadian content.
The advantages are clear. Bell gains a weapon to leverage their customer relationships and diversify their portfolio as the highly competitive phone market and the threat of Internet Telephony closes in on them. The Sympatico portal was a money loser that needed a solution.
Microsoft, for their part can deliver MSN 8 and future .NET clients to the Sympatico market within the Bell geographic regions and share the revenue. They can now make use of this existing market relationship for marketing their products. This combination will “morph” the existing Sympatico and MSN.ca Portals into one.
Other items, like a Sympatico-branded MSN Messenger, and access to Sympatico email through Hotmail will follow, but only to build the brand, not to fill any specific strategy. Revenue from this combined portal will be divided between the two companies, and hosting and development will continue in Toronto and Redmond.