The official Nextel/MS Press Release

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 10 May 1999 12:29:59 -0700

Main additional tidbit: "Nextel will also work with Microsoft to help
define the requirements for Microsoft's microbrowser technology for
wireless devices."

That's the shoe dropping: MS/Qualcomm did a deal a year or so ago,
but it was based on services -- Exchange access in particular. This
is MS' real entry into the handset-access space, in contrast to WAP
and more.

The Nextel Developer program is also interesting. There's beginning
to be a handset-targeted software/content development market, what
with SDKs from Nokia, Ericsson, and others. I wonder who managed to
snag the username 'khare' before I did, though? --RK]

[PS. Gotta love the corp HQ address: I wonder if that means Federal
Farm Credit insurance paid for the road, or their HQ outclasses
Nextel on the same street :-) ]

May 10, 1999 For Immediate Release

Nextel Communications, Inc. 1505 Farm Credit Drive McLean, VA
22102 703-394-3000

Nextel and Microsoft Team to Deliver Wireless Access to MSN Portal

Microsoft to Invest $600 Million in Nextel

RESTON, Va., and REDMOND, Wash. - May 10, 1999 - Nextel
Communications Inc. (Nasdaq "NXTL"), a leading provider of fully
integrated wireless communications, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq
"MSFT") today announced an agreement that will enable Nextel
customers to access a customized set of Internet services offered
through a co-branded version of the MSN(tm) portal. With this
agreement, Microsoft has committed to invest $600 million in Nextel
common stock in support of Nextel's leading position in the
development and deployment of these wireless Internet services. This
investment is expected to be used by Nextel to advance the deployment
of these services, develop additional digital services, expand the
Nextel National Network in the United States, and fund system
development and expansion in other countries in which Nextel
operates. The price of the stock was fixed at $36, and it will be
subject to certain transfer and standstill restrictions.

The wireless offerings will provide Nextel customers access to the
MSN network of Internet services, which will keep them in touch with
their information while on the go. When fully operational, as part of
the Nextel Onlinesm offering, the co-marketed services are expected
to include e-mail, calendar functionality, address book contacts and
access to Web-based content.

"The combination of Nextel's integrated data network and
Internet-ready phones will provide our customers with the ability to
access information and applications that are important to them,
wherever they are. This is the ultimate last mile, and we are
delivering it wirelessly," said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of
Nextel Communications. "We are very excited about this strategic
relationship with Microsoft and look forward to being able to extend
the power of its applications and services to customers throughout
the Nextel National Network."

"Microsoft and Nextel will deliver the next generation of wireless
services to enable people everywhere to stay in touch with the
information they need, regardless of location," said Bill Gates,
chairman and CEO of Microsoft. "The combination of Microsoft(r)
platforms, including Windows(r) CE-based devices, with MSN services
and Nextel's highly functional network and service infrastructure
will enable these powerful new services to be delivered efficiently
and effectively to benefit the widest range of customers." Nextel
expects that later this year Nextel Online customers will be able to
use their Nextel phones to access the new services mentioned above.
These services are being designed and deployed so that Nextel
customers also will be able to access them in combination with a
range of other devices, including personal digital assistants (PDAs),
palmtop computers, PCs and Windows CE operating system-based devices.
Nextel will also work with Microsoft to help define the requirements
for Microsoft's microbrowser technology for wireless devices.
Utilizing the MSN portal, Nextel will provide a "Web-computing
platform" for its customers via the company's Nextel Online offering.
It is planned that Nextel Online will include three fundamental sets
of services for Nextel customers. The first set of services will
enable Nextel customers to use Nextel Online as an efficient and
user-friendly way to interact with Nextel and other members of the
Nextel Business Networkssm. In doing so, customers will be able to
utilize Nextel's online customer care capabilities to find out
information on Nextel services, phones, coverage and special
offerings. Customers will also be able to purchase additional
accessories or telephones online and will soon be able to view and
pay their bills online. In addition, Nextel customers will be able to
take advantage of the Nextel Online Messaging Center to send short
message service (SMS) messages to other Nextel users. Nextel recently
announced that it is now sending more than 1 million SMS messages a
month by virtue of this efficient integrated offering.

The second set of services will include a multitude of applications,
content and services that Nextel will make available via the
co-branded MSN portal. Nextel Online customers will be able to select
from these applications and services and personalize them to both
their PC and to their Nextel phone. These offerings, available to
Nextel phone users and their nonmobile associates, are expected to
provide Nextel's customer base of more than 3 million with the most
robust set of integrated offerings available from the Internet over a
wireless network. E-mail, calendar, address book and Web-based
content services will be introduced with the launch of Nextel Online
with additional functionality integrated over time. The features
associated with these services will include the following:

* E-mail. Customers will be able to use a variety of devices to
access their e-mail inbox and to send and receive e-mail. Nextel
customers will be able to dial a number or use Nextel Direct
Connectsm to access a private ID number that appears within the
e-mail message. They will also be able to fax e-mail messages or
attachments to a local fax machine when they need a printed copy.

* Calendar. This function will enable Nextel customers to manage
their personal and group calendar information both online and from
their Nextel phone

* Address book. Customers may view, create, edit and delete contact
records, including contact names, company names, telephone numbers,
Nextel numbers, postal addresses and e-mail addresses. Customers also
will be able to initiate calls at the touch of a button to any number
displayed on the telephone screen from the address book

* Web-based content services. Customers will be able to receive timed
and triggered notifications for a variety of services such as stock
quotes, weather, news services and sports results. Access to these
services will be available through the Nextel National Network and
can be utilized with all new Nextel Internet-ready phones and in
conjunction with a variety of devices that include PDAs, palmtop
computers and laptop computers.

The third set of offerings enabled by the co-branded MSN portal will
include Web-based applications developed by third parties
specifically for business users of the rapidly growing Nextel
Business Networks. Today, more than 90 organizations have joined
Nextel's Developers Program (, and will
offer a variety of applications developed specially for individual
customer segments. These applications will be accessible from
Nextel's Internet-ready phones over the wireless Internet network.

In a separate announcement today, Microsoft announced plans to
deliver a wireless portal designed to work with handheld devices,
cellular phones and interactive pagers via the MSN network of
Internet services. Internet users will be able to access most popular
services on MSN, including e-mail and address books from the MSN
Hotmail(tm) Web-based e-mail service; news, sports and weather from
MSNBC; stock updates from the MSN MoneyCentral(tm) personal finance
online service; forthcoming calendar features from recently acquired
Jump! Networks; and other Web-based content such as door-to-door
directions and weather. The wireless portal will be available later
this year in conjunction with the next major upgrade to MSN.

Nextel Communications Inc., based in Reston, Va., is the leading
provider of fully integrated wireless communications and has built
the largest guaranteed all-digital wireless network in the United
States that covers thousands of communities across the United States.
Nextel and Nextel Partners Inc. currently serve 92 of the top 100 U.S
markets. The Nextel National Network offers a fully integrated
wireless communications tool with digital cellular, text and numeric
paging and Nextel Direct Connect, a digital two-way radio feature. In
addition, through Nextel International Inc., Nextel has wireless
operations and investments in Canada; Mexico; Argentina; Brazil; the
Philippines; Peru; Japan; and Shanghai, China. Please visit the
company's Web page at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for
personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and
services for business and personal use, each designed with the
mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take
advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks
and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual
future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed
by Nextel and Microsoft with the SEC, specifically the most recent
reports, which identify important risk factors that could cause
actual results to differ from those assumed or anticipated in the
forward-looking statements, including potential fluctuations in
demands for products and services and/or in quarterly results,
dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market
change, financial risk management and future growth risks. Other risk
factors include satisfactory negotiation of certain licensing
arrangements and satisfactory resolution of software delivery and
systems integration deliverables. These cautionary statements should
be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral
forward-looking statements issued by Nextel or persons acting on its
behalf. Nextel undertakes no obligation to review or confirm
analysts' expectations or estimates or to release publicly any
revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or
circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of
unanticipated events.
Nextel, the Nextel logo, Nextel Online, Nextel Business Networks and
Nextel Direct Connect are trademarks and/or service marks of Nextel
Communications Inc. Microsoft, MSN, Windows, Hotmail and MoneyCentral
are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in
the United States and/or other countries.