REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 19, 1998 — Following on the heels of the Oct. 7 announcement of the new MSN
network of Internet products and services, Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of an updated version of its leading online travel service, MSN Expedia
(formerly Expedia.com). With an updated, streamlined user interface, MSN Expedia will give customers easier access to the new Special Deals collection of vacation packages, cruises, resorts and lodging.
This enhancement gives travel suppliers more options by enabling them to reach travel-minded customers through MSN Expedia. In addition, MSN Expedia has been newly integrated into the MSN network of Internet services ( http://MSN.com/ ), which makes it easier for consumers to keep in touch, stay informed and get more done online.
Microsoft Group Product Manager Simon Breakwell said that tighter integration with MSN and enhancements to the Special Deals collection will provide a more streamlined and valuable travel service for suppliers and customers.
“We’re continuing to raise the visibility of the suppliers within our Expedia Travel Network (ETN) and the quality of service we provide our customers,”
“The bottom line for MSN Expedia is that our customers and travel suppliers are getting what they’ve told us they need: ease of use and great deals for customers, and increased exposure and more effective distribution for suppliers.”
ETN, made up of more than 20 travel suppliers, has generated more than $6 million in sales for members since January. Breakwell expects the new Special Deals collection to significantly affect that number.
The Mark Travel Corp., parent company for such vacation package suppliers as Funjet Vacations, Vacations by Sheraton and US Airway Vacations, sells many of its products through longtime ETN member Online Vacation Mall and stands to realize even greater benefits from the Special Deals section of MSN Expedia.
“The Mark Travel Corp. is very excited that Expedia is continuing to provide innovative ways for its travel suppliers to market to customers,”
said Jose Trevino, president of Mark Net World and the Online Vacation Mall.
“We look forward to the new opportunities that the MSN Expedia Special Deals section will offer us in showcasing our vacation packages to customers.”
Improved User Interface, Integration of MSN
The new, streamlined user interface of MSN Expedia will help customers more easily navigate through the site so they can get to what they need faster . The interface was redesigned to mirror the way customers shop for and purchase travel. With the new design, customers will be able to search for and book air fares and car and hotel reservations, select destination information, or access the Special Deals collection directly from the home page. These enhancements were implemented as a direct result of customer feedback.
In addition, the integration of Expedia into the MSN network of Internet services provides visitors to MSN Expedia with single-click access to a broad range of shopping and Internet services, including MSNBC, MSN Hotmail, the MSN CarPoint
online automotive service, the MSN HomeAdvisor
™online real estate service, MSN Shopping, and MSN Sidewalk® city guides.
New Features in MSN Expedia
The following are among the new features offered by MSN Expedia:
Special Deals. Consolidates specially packaged deals from travel suppliers. Travel packages and options are sorted by vacation type, destination, duration, price and other categories to make viewing and selection easy.
Improved user interface. Allows users to launch a fare search; research travel destinations; click directly into air, car and hotel wizards; and more – all from the home page.
CarWizard update. Adds the ability for users to reserve a car one-way and book rental cars with a promotional discount or corporate rate, among other features.
World Guide update. Provides better access to regions within the World Guide from the home page and increases the World Guide’s more than 300 destinations by approximately 40.
About MSN Expedia
MSN Expedia is the place to go on the Web to easily plan travel, purchase tickets, and make hotel and car reservations. MSN Expedia offers in-depth destination content and travel news as well as mapping, address finding and direction services. Since its inception in October 1996, MSN Expedia has become one of the Web’s most successful electronic-commerce sites, with over 3 million registered users and weekly travel sales exceeding $5 million.
MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com (http://MSN.com/), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning
e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.
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, MSN, Expedia, CarPoint, HomeAdvisor and Sidewalk 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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