NEW YORK, September 12, 1996 — MSNBC on the Internet (http://www.msnbc.com/) , the online joint venture between Microsoft Corp. and NBC, and FreeLoader, Inc. (http://www.freeloader.com/) , creators of the leading offline browsing and agenting software for the World Wide Web, today announced a strategic relationship to uniquely deliver news content offline to users of MSNBC.
Under this agreement, MSNBC users will be able to enjoy the benefits of MSNBC at times when they are not connected live to the Internet. MSNBC on the Internet news coverage can be delivered directly to a user’s desktop using a custom version of FreeLoader’s software integrated within the msnbc.com site. Additionally, MSNBC users can schedule updates of MSNBC’s Personal Front page, where they can view their favorite information such as stock quotes, sports scores or industry-specific news.
Experiencing the Web off-line eliminates the wait associated with retrieving and viewing multimedia content, such as high-resolution graphics, video clips and audio clips. For example, at user-defined intervals, the MSNBC customized version of FreeLoader will go online and collect user-specified information. The user can then view the same information instantly
because it is stored on the hard disk, rather than waiting for it to be downloaded or retrieved from the World Wide Web.
MSNBC’s special version of FreeLoader is scheduled to be available this fall and will include many of the same elements of FreeLoader’s forthcoming version 2.0. In addition, as part of the agreement, MSNBC on the Internet will be a content offering, or
included with FreeLoader version 2.0.
“Offline delivery is one of the most exciting developments happening on the Web,”
said Peter Neupert, vice president of MSNBC on the Internet at Microsoft.
“Together with FreeLoader, we are making it easier to access and personalize MSNBC news content.”
“This relationship with a world-class news provider represents a major step for Freeloader,”
said Mark Pincus, President and CEO of FreeLoader, Inc.
“We are very excited to be working with MSNBC to make the Web experience as convenient as a broadcast.”
Offline Web delivery is a fast-growing trend among content providers. According to a recent Internet trade publication, offline web delivery represents the start of a fundamental change in the way online companies distribute their content and generate revenue. The article illustrates this by describing how news will be shipped and stored to users’ computers, creating the electronic equivalent of newspapers that are delivered to subscribers doorstep each day.
Founded in October, 1995 and based in Washington, D.C., FreeLoader, Inc., a unit of Individual, Inc. (NASDAQ: INDV), is the creator of the world’s first offline service that delivers the World Wide Web and screen saver content to consumers. The company’s flagship product is a free, advertiser-supported, application that makes the Internet faster and easier by retrieving Web sites, storing them on an end-user’s hard disk for later viewing, and displaying them on a screen saver for easy viewing. Since its debut on May 1, FreeLoader has been downloaded by more than 150,000 users.
MSNBC is a partnership between NBC, a leading provider of news and information and Microsoft, the leader in personal computer software and a major provider of Internet online services. Built on the worldwide resources of NBC News, MSNBC is both the 24-hour news, talk and information cable network and its companion news and information Internet service at (http://www.msnbc.com/) Programming is being developed simultaneously for cable and the Internet so that MSNBC will offer truly integrated television, interactive news and dynamic discussion of topical events.