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Microsoft, Nortel Form Telecom Alliance

Microsoft Corp. and Nortel Networks Corp. have formed a four-year alliance to develop and sell products that aim to give people more sophisticated ways to communicate with each other.

Microsoft Corp. and Nortel Networks Corp. have formed a four-year alliance to develop and sell products that aim to give people more sophisticated ways to communicate with each other.

The wide-ranging deal, which could be extended, is focused on selling high-tech business communications offerings to corporations. It was announced Tuesday, and no financial details were released.

Redmond-based Microsoft, the world's largest software company, has put enormous effort behind such technology, which seeks to more closely link communications ranging from e-mail and instant messaging to video conferencing and even traditional telephone calls.

The idea is that employees could more easily locate one another and work together, regardless of whether their colleagues were sitting at a computer in a nearby cubicle, driving home from work or stuck in an airport.

In a statement, Toronto-based Nortel said it believed it could see more than $1 billion in revenue from the deal.

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