Microsoft sets up wireless portal

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Microsoft Corp. today launched a portal for users of wireless handheld devices and said it has acquired OmniBrowse Inc., a wireless-data services company, to help speed up its wireless portal strategy.

Portals are Web sites that compile a variety of content, services and links to other sites. Microsoft's new portal, dubbed MSN Mobile, will let users receive personalized content via their interactive pagers and cellular phones. Starting today, consumers can sign up for MSN Mobile on The Microsoft Network (MSN) Web site, MSN.com.

Microsoft also announced its purchase of OmniBrowse, which makes applications for interactive pagers, cellular phones, handheld computers and other wireless handheld devices. OmniBrowse's suite of services for delivering content to wireless devices has been incorporated into MSN Mobile, Microsoft said. No information about the acquisition price was disclosed.

When fully developed, MSN Mobile will include services such as e-mail, address books and calendar features from Microsoft's Web-based e-mail service, Hotmail, Microsoft said. It will also include content from other parts of MSN, such as news, sports and weather from MSNBC and stock updates from the MSN MoneyCentral personal finance online service.

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