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June 5, 2006

A broader partnership online

Posted by Kim Peterson at 9:00 PM

Microsoft and Qwest have partnered on high-speed DSL access since 2001, when Qwest began offering a co-branded Internet service package with MSN. The relationship must have worked out well, because Microsoft said today it would expand the partnership now that it has debuted its OneCare PC service.

Microsoft will make the OneCare subscription service available to Qwest users, and the two companies are developing a portal-like Web page tailored to customers. The new service will be out this year, but the companies aren't saying when or how much it will cost.

Currently, you can get the MSN/Qwest DSL package for $27 a month for 12 months (it's more if you don't use Qwest's home phone service), and the future pricing will be "very consistent" with that, said Scott Russell, director of product management for Qwest's broadband services. Qwest is the first U.S. telecom company to offer Internet access integrated with Microsoft's Windows Live platform.

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