MSN Instant Messenger launched across Europe... almost

Today sees the launch of mobile instant messaging services across eight European countries, but it won't be coming to the UK because of disagreement between Microsoft and the telco operators.:(

The service started today across eight European countries - including some like Turkey not known as high-tech powerhouses - but the UK is so far lagging behind them all. The new venture allows users of Microsoft's MSN Instant Messenger to receive messages on their mobile phones when they are away from their PCs. Users are sent the messages as traditional Short Message Service (SMS) which they pay for in their phone bill.

Vassili le Moigne, mobile manager for MSN EMEA, said he was still intending to launch the service in every country in Europe but he couldn't put a timeframe on when a service would be launched in the UK.

He said: "I can't say we will definitely have a service at any time - it's just a question of getting a deal in place. There's a lot of education of the carriers that needs to go on. A year and a half ago it was very hard to get them to understand the value of services on SMS because everyone was talking WAP. They thought they could provide these kinds of services themselves. "Now they are starting to understand and we are talking to all the carriers in Europe. The most important thing is to get the partnerships on board." Could somebody please explain to me what exactly that is supposed to mean??

News source:

View: Microsoft makes UK wait for mobile IM

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