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Reuters launches instant MESSAGING network for financial services based on microsoft technology

London - Reuters (LSE - RTR.L), the global information, news and technology group, today launched Reuters Messaging, a reliable, high security, high speed instant messaging service developed specifically for the global financial services industry. Around 1100 companies in 84 countries have already signed up for the service.

Developed by Reuters and Microsoft, with the active support of more than thirty financial institutions, the service meets the specific business security and compliance requirements of financial institutions, including regulatory requirements to store and audit all messages.

Commenting on the launch, Ivano Togni, Managing Director of J.P. Morgan Chase said, "We continue to pursue innovative ways to communicate more effectively with our customers, counterparties and colleagues. We expect that deploying Reuters instant messaging will provide one avenue to deliver on our leadership promise."

Russ Goring, Chief Technology Officer at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein said, "Instant Messaging is an increasingly important part of the connect between us and our clients. It allows us to work together with our clients online in real time, across different locations and time zones in a seamless manner. This new Reuters service is a very important part of our client communication strategy."

The service allows financial professionals to instantly communicate with their colleagues and customers. Users can access a network of contacts via the service directory and see when they are online and available to do business via presence information. In addition, users can hold one to one or group conversations with these contacts.

Reuters Messaging is based on the open, industry standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) enabling it to be easily integrated into the terminals and systems financial professionals use to do business, and working with their familiar Microsoft Windows desktop. Reuters will integrate the service into its premium desktop services, Reuters 3000Xtra and Reuters BridgeStation, and within ReutersPlus. The service will also be made available within many of the new breed of products Reuters is developing aimed at serving the needs of different types of financial professionals. Reuters will also work with customers who wish to integrate the service into their own in-house or customer facing systems.

Tom Glocer, Reuters Chief Executive, said: "Over recent years, instant messaging has become a pervasive communications tool in the consumer market, but uptake in the financial services market has been limited by requirements for performance and security. Reuters has teamed up with Microsoft to deliver an instant messaging service that marries the benefits of a standards-based, scalable technology with the high performance and security needs of financial professionals. We are very excited to continue Reuters tradition of introducing innovative technologies into the financial services market."

"Our alliance with Reuters is another example of Microsoft's commitment to developing technologies that serve the financial services sector," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. "Reuters Messaging is one of the first standards based instant messaging services that meets the requirements of both financial services institutions and their regulatory bodies. We are excited to be working with Reuters to deliver core components of Reuters Messaging as the first delivery from our Greenwich real-time communications platform. The market is looking for solutions built on standards-based platforms, and we are excited that Reuters shares this vision."

Reuters plans to work with its financial services customers to develop additional services and functionality to help collaboration between financial professionals.

Reuters Messaging has already been rolled out across the Reuters Group. Over 15,000 staff are using it to communicate with and service customers, and reach their colleagues around the globe.