Microsoft, Nortel sign communications alliance

Software giant Microsoft and network equipment maker Nortel Networks have formed a four-year alliance to develop and sell products that aim to give people more sophisticated ways to communicate with each other, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the wide-ranging deal, which could be extended, was focused on selling high-tech business communications offerings to corporations.

No financial details were given.

Microsoft has put enormous effort behind such technology, which seeks to more closely link communications ranging from email and instant messaging to video conferencing and even traditional telephone calls.

In a statement, Toronto-based Nortel said it believed it could see more than $1 billion in revenue from the deal, according to the report.