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Microsoft's M-S-N to shut down or limit chat services
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Seattle-AP -- Microsoft has announced a move aimed at improving its profit picture and protecting kids from Internet predators.

Microsoft is shutting down Internet chat services in most of its markets around the world and limiting the service in the United States.

The changes take effect October 14th.

The service is being shut down in European, Latin American and Asian markets. M-S-N will still offer chat services to users in the U-S, Canada, Japan and Brazil, but users will be required to subscribe to at least one other paid M-S-N service.

A spokeswoman says the change will help curb inappropriate uses, including pornographic spam. A business analyst says it also will enable Microsoft to shed some free users who are a drag on profits.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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