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Web log service in Japan from Microsoft - 8/4/2004 7:20:24 AM   

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MICROSOFT, the world's largest software company, is to trial a web log service in Japan and aims to have a million users within a year.

Web logs, or blogs, have been around for several years, serving as online journals for web users with content ranging from personal ramblings to diaries.

But blogging drew renewed attention after Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in May that web logs and the way they were distributed could be used as business communication tools.

Microsoft plans to start a trial service on 10 August in cooperation with unlisted Japanese contents provider T.O.S Co. Ltd., followed by an official launch later this year.

It has yet to be decided when Microsoft will launch a blog service in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

Microsoft said its new service, which enables blog writers to update their entries and visitors to have access to blog sites from mobile phones, not just PCs, was well suited for Japan, where nearly 90% of mobile phones have internet capability.

Google, the world's top searcg engine, has already upgraded its service, which it bought in 2003, by adding features that allow users to publish content from any e-mail-enabled device, such as mobiles and handheld devices.

The new service will be offered free of charge. Microsoft will make money from advertising and may charge fees for additional services, such as expanded capacity to hold large content.

Source : Associated Newspapers LTD
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