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Microsoft Acquires Swiss VoIP Company

The acquisition of Zurich-based Media-streams.com AG will give Microsoft engineering talent, technology, and intellectual property it can apply to products for Internet phone calls that work in conjunction with E-mail,

Microsoft disclosed Thursday that it has acquired a Swiss software company that builds apps based on voice-over-IP technology.

The acquisition of Zurich-based Media-streams.com AG will give Microsoft engineering talent, technology, and intellectual property it can apply to products for Internet phone calls that work in conjunction with E-mail, Web conferencing, and SMS software, according to Microsoft. Media-stream's apps integrate Internet calls with Microsoft's Outlook and Exchange E-mail software, a spokesman for Microsoft said. Media-stream.com, which is privately held, had 23 employees, according to the spokesman. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Media-streams.com is the second VoIP-related company Microsoft has bought in a little more than two months. On Aug. 30, it bought Teleo Inc., a San Francisco provider of Internet phone software and service. Microsoft is competing in the market for VoIP with Google, EBay, and other companies. Google this summer rolled out free Google Talk software for online phone calls. In September, EBay bought VoIP company Skype for $2.6 billion.

Microsoft sells server-side software called Office Live Communications Server for hosting VoIP calls inside companies. It's also developing Internet phone features for its Windows Live Web site, which the company started testing yesterday.

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