Microsoft Hong Kong and vLink Global are to expand their mobile Internet solutions alliance with a HK$40 million investment in SAR-based wireless applications firm Future Solutions. Microsoft and vLink were also in talks with major United States-based mobile-phone manufacturers and computer hardware vendors to join the alliance, which would focus on developing solutions specific to the Asia-Pacific region. 'In the first stage we'll be targeting China,' Jimmy Wong, chief excutive of vLink said. 'Then we'll move into Korea . . . and eventually to Europe and the US.' The alliance is planning to spread its tentacles to the mainland and South Korea by forging further technology and equity partnerships with local firms. Based on Microsoft and Future Solutions' wireless platforms, the local partners would develop specific solutions tailored to local markets, such as Chinese and Korean-language interfaces. Mr Wong rejected suggestions the market for mobile Internet solutions would soon become crowded as a growing number of local firms teamed up with foreign technology giants looking to tap into the region's potential. 'Most of these companies [in Asia] right now are providing WAP content,' he said. 'Very few are actually providing applications technology. And the market for this technology really is huge.' Future Solutions said it would use the investment to establish a research and development centre for wireless technology in Hong Kong, which would import innovations from the US and Europe. The centre would have the support of Microsoft's human and technology resources, though the US software giant would not provide any cash, Future Solutions's managing director Dary Lee said. VLink has earmarked an initial HK$100 million in cash for its alliance with Microsoft, which was formed last month. Microsoft will contribute proprietary technology and human talent to the alliance, but will not commit any cash. With Future Solutions aiming to list on the Growth Enterprise Market this year, Mr Lee dismissed suggestions the firm had put off its listing due to market conditions. With a 10-year track record, the past three of which were profitable, Future Solutions will be the oldest of all the GEM-listed companies so far. Mr Lee said the company chose the GEM, despite its flagging fortunes, over the main board as he believed it would be better placed to attract investors. Future Solutions, traditionally an information technology solutions provider and consultant, began developing mobile Internet applications at the end of last year.