Sydney – Microsoft Corp. and Telstra announced their intention to enter into a strategic alliance to bring together business software applications, mobile services and devices, and integrated computer and telephone services over Telstra’s Next IP and Next G networks. The companies plan for the first products to be introduced in market by mid-2009. Tracey Fellows, Microsoft Australia’s managing director, said Australian businesses stood to benefit from a wide range of next generation technologies that are simple, low maintenance and cost effective. “In particular, the planned alliance would provide small and medium sized businesses, of which there are over 1.8 million in Australia, access to products and services that were formerly only available to large companies with well-resourced IT budgets and infrastructure,” said Fellows. Fellows added that the planned alliance would also be beneficial for the wider Australian technology industry. The alliance will offer a range of next generation services that are simple to install and use, and require lower maintenance than many current offerings.