MCI, Microsoft tell plans

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MCI Communications and Microsoft, as expected, Monday formally announced an alliance to jointly market and develop online, Internet and networking services. MCI will distribute the Microsoft Network as well as market its own customized version of MSN. MCI will also push Microsoft's browser, the Internet Explorer, as its browser of choice to its more than 15 million customers. Microsoft will market to its Windows 95 customers MCI services including MCI Conferencing and MCI ISDN as well as telecommunications services like Friends & Family and 1-800 COLLECT. As part of the deal, MCI is significantly decreasing its role in its online joint venture with News Corp. "Both MCI and News Corp. will be putting assets into another online venture," said MCI Chairman/CEO Bert Roberts in a telephone press conference held earlier today. "Although MCI will remain part of the online joint venture, we will only have a minority stake."

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