Redmond, Washington —
, October 20, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a preview of the latest version of the MSN
online automotive service ( http://carpoint.MSN.com/ ), introducing the first personalized Web-based car maintenance program, called the Personal Auto Page. The preview also introduces enhancements that help consumers find and buy used cars more quickly and easily. Visitors to MSN CarPoint can click on the “Preview Our Beta” link on the site’s home page to test drive the new features. MSN CarPoint has been newly integrated into the MSN network of Internet products and services ( http://MSN.com/ ), which makes it easier for consumers to keep in touch, stay informed and get more done online.
The new Personal Auto Page feature of MSN CarPoint helps consumers track their automobiles’ service schedules and auto manufacturer recalls via automatic e-mail updates. Consumers will find authoritative advice on how to shop for and save money on car maintenance and repairs, detailed pricing information on parts and labor, and discounts available from selected auto-service outlets.
“The new version of MSN CarPoint is the first Web site that can actually help consumers save time, money and hassle not only in choosing and buying their next car, but also in owning, maintaining and repairing it,” said Lindsay Sparks, business unit manager for MSN CarPoint at Microsoft. “By adding the new Personal Auto Pages to our objective and highly detailed information about how to choose the right car, MSN CarPoint offers consumers one of the most complete automotive services on the Web.”
Personal Auto Pages
The new Personal Auto Page feature of MSN CarPoint allows consumers to create profiles of each vehicle they own by supplying detailed information about their cars, including actual and estimated driving mileage. In return, consumers receive automated e-mail notification about upcoming scheduled maintenance and auto manufacturer recalls specific to their cars.
Personal Auto Pages offer consumers practical advice about car ownership, ranging from strategies for saving money on servicing and oil changes to seasonal maintenance advice. The program contains a tool to automatically track their cars’ Kelley Blue Book values. Additional ownership components of MSN CarPoint include online chat communities where consumers can share and compare their car ownership experiences with others.
Used Car Marketplace Enhanced Classifieds
The new version of MSN CarPoint introduces enhancements to the site’s Used Car Marketplace classifieds to make it easier for consumers to find the right vehicle. The site includes new tools that allow consumers to search for a used car in three ways: by specifying automobile make, model and year range; by specifying broad vehicle categories; or by looking at a local dealer’s inventory.
“The enhanced used-car classifieds on MSN CarPoint now more closely mirrors the ways consumers actually shop for a used vehicle, making the process faster and easier than ever,” Sparks said.
MSN CarPoint used-car classifieds now include reliability ratings, Kelley Blue Book values, safety information and dealer comments specific to the car being viewed.
Microsoft gathered extensive customer feedback and enhanced the popular tools in MSN CarPoint by making them easier to find and use. For example, the popular Power Search slider controls now allow users to type in specific values, making it faster and easier for them to narrow vehicle searches to specific criteria.
MSN CarPoint will soon include a Finance & Insurance page with in-depth information and tools to help consumers shop more easily for auto insurance and financing. Links to participating financing and insurance sites also will be included. A repair pricing tool, designed to help consumers compare and estimate service and repair costs, also will be available on the site soon.
The site’s home page has been redesigned to allow visitors to access many of the most popular features and functions of MSN CarPoint with a single click. The redesigned home page also more tightly integrates CarPoint into the MSN network of Internet products and services. This provides site visitors with single-click access to a broad range of shopping and Internet services, including the Expedia
travel services, the HomeAdvisor
™online real estate service, MSN Hotmail free e-mail (connect-time charges may apply), MSNBC News, MSN Shopping and Sidewalk® city guides.
About MSN CarPoint
MSN CarPoint is a comprehensive automotive Web site that offers consumers complete car-buying and ownership information. Launched in July 1996, MSN CarPoint gives consumers fast, convenient access to detailed specifications, reviews from leading automotive journalists, detailed pricing information, interactive decision-making tools, buying services for new and used cars, tools to simplify car maintenance and repair, and financing and insurance information. The site’s free new-car buying service allows consumers to get a competitive price – without
haggling or hassles – from the MSN CarPoint nationwide network of affiliated dealers (connect-time charges may apply).
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MFST”) 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, CarPoint, Expedia, 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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