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Oki Electric Industry Co. and the Japanese unit of Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday they have agreed to cooperate in the development of multimedia telecommunication systems that integrate the functions of various information and telecommunication tools.

The systems will be controlled by computers running Microsoft’s operating system and using its server technologies. They will integrate functions such as ordinary phones, voice-over Internet phones, voice mail and video conferencing.

The systems will also enable users to access information and share data on demand, regardless of location and time, they said.

Oki Electric also aims to develop a new product that integrates computers and voice communication tools based on Microsoft’s operating systems and server technologies.

It hopes to release the new product in the spring.

Microsoft will support and provide Oki with the necessary technology for the new product, the firms said.

This agreement gives Microsoft a platform for full-scale entry into the telecommunications market.

Oki Electric will set up a 100-strong project team for the venture, the two companies said.

The firms estimate that the multimedia telecommunications market could be worth 250 billion yen in Japan in 2004. They said they hope to control 40 percent of the market through the tieup.

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