Motorola and Microsoft will jointly develop and market software for emergency first responders, the companies announced today.
The alliance comes as government and IT leaders examine ways to prevent the kinds of communication breakdowns that recently hampered hurricane rescue efforts along the Gulf Coast.
While Katrina and Rita raised awareness of real-time data transfer and system interoperability problems, public safety and defense officials have been looking to make improvements since Sept. 11.
Motorola and Microsoft believe the new pact is a step in the right direction. They said tying together various software on a common platform will eliminate the need for local, state and federal agencies to cobble together information-sharing networks -- a costly and technically daunting task.
Under today's agreement, the mobile specialist will build applications on the software giant's .NET and Windows Server Systems platforms. Motorola will shift its records management system software first, then begin new software projects.
"Mission-critical environments demand unparalleled reliability and continuous data access. The Microsoft platform allows us to meet, even exceed, those demands," Timothy Boyle, Motorola's vice president of business development, said in a statement.
Schaumberg, Ill.-based Motorola already has a number of government customers for its software and wireless networks, including: Washington, D.C., Broward County, Florida, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
"Microsoft recognizes and takes seriously the growing challenge to law enforcement, first responders and emergency management officials to communicate vital information in real-time," said Tom Richey, Microsoft's executive director of Homeland Security for the Worldwide Public Sector.
The companies did not disclose the duration or the dollar value of the new partnership. source