updated 11/3/2005 3:55:53 PM ET 2005-11-03T20:55:53

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it had acquired FolderShare, a service that helps computer users share and synchronize large files without needing to use e-mail, burn CDs or upload information to the Internet.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Launched in 2002 and run by Austin, Texas-based ByteTaxi, Inc., FolderShare gives customers private, remote access to their files through any Web browser, Microsoft said.

(MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)

Blake Irving, corporate vice president of the MSN communication services and member platform group, said the technology will be offered with Windows Live, a new Web-based service the company unveiled this week that will unfasten some of Microsoft's applications from computer hard drives.

Windows Live will be offered for free and will try to make money from the rapidly expanding online advertising market that has been fueling the explosive growth of Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

The world's largest software maker is trying to adapt to the challenges and opportunities posed by the Internet while protecting its core business of licensing software computer by computer.

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