Microsoft CarPoint Accelerates With Online Distribution

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 23, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. announced today that the CarPoint
™online automotive service – an Internet automotive super site – will be a premier automotive sponsor on five leading Internet search sites. Infoseek, WebCrawler and Yahoo will prominently feature Microsoft® CarPoint in their automotive areas. In addition, Excite and HotBot will feature CarPoint in their shopping and automotive shopping areas. These sponsorships also include CarPoint advertising and promotion in a broad list of automotive search results.

“We are very pleased to have CarPoint selected by these sites,” said John Neilson, vice president of the interactive service media group at Microsoft. “By teaming with the leading search engine providers, we can bring the benefits of CarPoint 2.0 to the entire Internet. With these agreements, we expect to more than triple the CarPoint audience.”

On each search site, CarPoint will be a featured sponsor and will receive promotion and branded placement in targeted automotive content areas. This wide-ranging placement will expose Internet users to CarPoint more than 300 million times next year.

“Yahoo! continues to partner with leading merchants to bring the best e-commerce services on the Web to our users,” said Ellen Siminoff, vice president of business development at Yahoo!. “Microsoft CarPoint 2.0 offers our users easy access to additional automotive and car-buying information to help them make smart purchasing decisions quickly.”

Online automotive shopping, including researching and purchasing, is one of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet. Industry analysts estimate that by the year 2000, 25 percent or more of all cars sold in the United States will be sold online. As leading companies prepare to meet this demand, working with established automotive sites like CarPoint is becoming very attractive.

“Infoseek is dedicated to providing our users with the online services they want,” said Harry Motro, president and CEO of Infoseek. “As over 20 percent of all searches on Infoseek are automotive related, teaming up with Microsoft is a great way to do this. CarPoint 2.0 gives us a way to present Infoseek users with the highest-quality automotive information and services on the Web.”

Rick Boyce, senior vice president of advertising and commerce at Wired Digital, expressed similar sentiments. “The new Shop Wired site on our HotBot search engine is dedicated to bringing the best online shopping experiences possible to Wired Digital’s quality user base. With the addition of CarPoint 2.0 on Shop Wired, our users now have instant access to a leading source for online automobile shopping and purchasing.”

Distribution agreements between vertical category providers and the leading online search sites are the latest business trend on the Internet. They give sites like CarPoint access to new, large customer bases, while allowing search sites to fill out their offerings and tap additional e-commerce revenue streams.

“As part of Excite Inc.’s further commitment to electronic commerce, CarPoint 2.0 gives WebCrawler and Excite Shopping Channel users the information they need to make car purchasing decisions online,” said Brett Bullington, executive vice president, Excite Inc. “With

Excite’s multibrand strategy, maintaining Excite and WebCrawler, we remain committed to giving our customers the best possible choices in making buying decisions online.”

In related news, Microsoft announced the availability of CarPoint version 2.0, an Internet automotive super site. This new version offers new and used car shoppers an end-to-end research and purchasing Web site. Highlights of the new version include Kelley Blue Book information, used-car reliability ratings, dynamic side-by-side comparison tools and up-to-date interest rate information.

Microsoft CarPoint is a comprehensive automotive Web site, offering users complete car-buying information. First available in August 1996, CarPoint gives users access to detailed specifications, reviews from the world’s leading automotive writers, detailed pricing information and interactive decision-management tools.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (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 and CarPoint 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.

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