Sidewalk, Personalized City Guide to Entertainment, Goes Live in Seattle

REDMOND, Wash., April 3, 1997 — No more excuses for going to the same restaurant again, missing the one concert you wanted to see, or enduring another evening of takeout and TV reruns when a city of entertainment options awaits. The Seattle Sidewalk
city guide, published by Microsoft Corp., is now available free on the World Wide Web (connect-time charges may apply) at ( ) and as a featured offering on MSN
, The Microsoft Network.

Other Sidewalk city guides are scheduled to launch in 10 to 15 key cities by the end of the year.

Seattle Sidewalk offers residents a way to make better decisions about what to do, where to go, what to see and when to see it. From concerts to movies, restaurants to sporting events, the Sidewalk local editorial team provides previews, reviews and even customized suggestions about what’s happening every day.

“We saw an incredible opportunity to create the next generation of city media online,” said Frank Schott, general manager of Sidewalk. “We can zero in on exactly what any resident wants at a given moment, from where to find the best martini at the end of a long day to little-known trails for a weekend hike or restaurants that can handle a group of 10. We even remind users when tickets go on sale for their favorite band, so it’s easy to get out and experience the things they enjoy in their city.”

Sidewalk has assembled local teams of award-winning journalists who know the arts and entertainment scene in their cities. By combining their skills with the most powerful Internet technology, Sidewalk delivers personalized recommendations for every resident. The Sidewalk editorial team speaks directly to readers through personal recommendations on their front page and e-mail reminders highlighting events of interest. They even keep their eyes open for specific events that readers tell Sidewalk they don’t want to miss.

Research shows that city residents are increasingly busy juggling work and home life. “With less free time, people are becoming more dissatisfied with the entertainment choices they’re making. Basically, people are too busy to keep up with what’s going on and too tired at the end of a long week to figure out what to do,” said Kevin Eagan, general manager of Seattle Sidewalk. “That’s why we designed Sidewalk. It’s like having a team of personal entertainment advisers out on the street every day, looking for the best the city has to offer and matching it with individual tastes and interests.”

Sidewalk is scheduled to debut in cities including New York, Boston, Denver, Houston, the Twin Cities, San Diego, San Francisco, Sydney, Australia, and Washington, D.C. by the end of 1997. Sidewalk will be supported by national, regional and local advertising. Initial national advertisers include Bank of America, Barnes & Noble Inc., BMW of North America Inc., CitiBank, Club Med Sales Inc., Prudential Real Estate, Seafirst Bank, United Airlines and Visa U.S.A., as well as hundreds of local businesses.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Sidewalk and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.

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