REDMOND, Wash., June 24, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an agreement with New York-based Zagat Survey to incorporate the popular, consumer-based Zagat Survey
restaurant ratings and reviews into Sidewalk
city guides; MSN
™, The Microsoft Network; and the new versions of Microsoft® Automap® Trip Planner and Automap Streets Plus due out this fall. As a result of the licensing agreement, Zagat Survey will provide information and commentary on more than 15,000 restaurants in 40 major North American cities and London.
In addition to the trusted restaurant ratings from the Zagat Survey print guides, the online Zagat Survey guides will deliver original content on dining trends in features such as the Top 20 Most Popular Restaurants for Men and Women and Most Heavily Trafficked Restaurants for People in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Zagat Survey is scheduled to debut on Sidewalk and MSN this summer.
“Zagat Survey provides the most popular and trusted collection of restaurant-rating information in the world,”
said Pete Higgins, group vice president, interactive media group at Microsoft.
“This agreement illustrates our ongoing commitment to provide high-quality products that help busy consumers use the power of the Internet and the PC to easily gain insights, make decisions and take actions that make a difference in their daily lives. With time-pressured Americans dining out more frequently than ever before, we saw a great opportunity to team up with Zagat Survey to provide even more comprehensive restaurant information in our local products.”
As part of the agreement, Zagat Survey will provide the local restaurant data contained in its best-selling guides based on national surveys of thousands of frequent diners. Zagat’s customer surveys are the perfect complement to the expert restaurant reviews, music, arts and events coverage developed by the local Sidewalk editorial teams. Sidewalk city guides to entertainment are available for Seattle and New York at (http://sidewalk.com/) , with Boston and Minneapolis/St. Paul launching soon.
For members of MSN, the Zagat Survey restaurant surveys will be a featured part of local information offerings on MSN, as well as a standalone service in MSN Essentials. Members of MSN can find restaurants by running a search based on the same criteria found in the printed copy of the Zagat Survey dining guides, or they can expand their culinary horizons using content created exclusively for Microsoft. Online chat sessions will provide a forum for visitors to Sidewalk and members of MSN to share thoughts and ideas with Zagat Survey co-publishers Tim and Nina Zagat.
“We consider Microsoft to be an ideal company to team up with,”
Nina Zagat said.
“Our business is inherently interactive: We listen to frequent diners and travelers by way of our surveys and share their experiences, opinions and ratings in electronic and print formats. Microsoft is uniquely equipped to add a new dimension to our ongoing dialogue with consumers.”
The Zagat Survey content will also be used to enhance the newest versions of Microsoft CD-ROM travel services products, including Automap Streets Plus and Automap Trip Planner, scheduled for this fall.
Zagat Surveys were created in 1979 by husband-and-wife attorneys Tim and Nina Zagat, who publish restaurant, hotel and food marketplace guides that have become pre-eminent in their respective fields. The flagship New York City Restaurant Survey sells more than 50,000 copies annually, making it the best-selling title in New York. Zagat Surveys are available for more than 40 restaurant markets, covering all U.S. major metropolitan areas and selected destinations in Canada and Great Britain. Zagat also publishes the Survey of U.S. Hotels and Spas, with coverage of more than 2,100 business and vacation lodgings nationally, along with consumer ratings of major airlines and car-rental agencies. The newest hotel survey will be published next month. A new survey covering Paris restaurants will debut in the spring of 1998.
Sidewalk, the personalized city-entertainment guide published by Microsoft, 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 and sporting events, the Sidewalk local editorial team provides previews, reviews and even customized suggestions about what’s happening every day. New York Sidewalk launched May 19, following Seattle Sidewalk, which debuted April 3. Sidewalk is scheduled to launch this year in Boston; San Francisco; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Sydney, Australia; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Houston; and Denver, for an expected total of 10 cities in 1997. Sidewalk is free on the World Wide Web at (http://sidewalk.com/) and is a featured offering on MSN at (http://www.MSN.com/) (connect-time charges may apply).
The award-winning MSN is the third-largest online service in the world, offering valuable services, rich communications and communities, and compelling entertainment on the Internet. MSN also provides hundreds of special-interest forums and bulletin boards and such high-quality services and Web shows as the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia, the Expedia
™travel service, Star Trek: Continuum® , Disney’s Daily Blast
and Disney’s Family.com
, the Slate
™online magazine, the CarPoint™ online automotive service, the Microsoft Investor online investing service, and up-to-date news and information from MSNBC News. Additional press information is available at (http://press.MSN.com/) .
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, MSN, Automap, Encarta, Expedia, Slate and CarPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Zagat and Zagat Survey are trademarks of Zagat Survey LLC.
Star Trek: Continuum is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures.
Disney’s Daily Blast and Family.com are trademarks of Disney Online.
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.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.