Microsoft to shut down Internet chat rooms in India

Friday, 26 September 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced the closure of MSN chat services in India along with a host of other countries, saying the move was aimed at protecting children from "inappropriate" communication online.

The MSN instant messenger, however, "will continue as an integral part of MSN's growth strategy," said a Microsoft press statement issued here.

MSN messenger offers many of the same benefits of chat service while providing consumers with greater control over whom they communicate with.

Under the new strategy, MSN chat service will close in Europe, the Middles East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, said the statement, adding "un-moderated" service will only be available to subscribing customers in the U.S., Canada and Japan.

A MSN India official said the shutdown would come into effect over a couple of weeks in a phased manner.

"We have made these changes because online chat services are increasingly being misused," said Judy Gibbons, corporate vice president of MSN International.

"These changes will improve protection for MSN users when it comes to spam and inappropriate communication," he added.

The statement said that communication about the changes to Internet chat rooms would be posted on several locations on MSN chat.

"This initiative is the latest in a series of measures to be announced by MSN and Microsoft in the battle against inappropriate use of the Internet," it added.

In April this year, Microsoft announced it had joined hands with Yahoo! and AOL in a global initiative to tackle spam by coordinated approach to technology, enforcement, education and legislation.

Source: IANS
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