MSN Sidewalk Survey Reveals Significant Decision-Making Differences Between Genders

Redmond, Washington —
, October 20, 1998 — According to a national survey commissioned by the MSN® Sidewalk® online guide, men and women make decisions differently. Results of the survey – commissioned to examine how people make decisions – show that 37 percent of men trust research or product knowledge more than their gut instinct (19 percent), while women equally trust their instinct (28 percent) and research (29 percent).

The survey also found that Americans make an average of 73 decisions each day regarding work, purchases, and home and family (work 39, purchases 11, home and family 23). In terms of making decisions about purchases in specific areas, gender again plays a key role. Men head the decision-making process in automotive, technology and career. Women claim the most influence in household matters, travel, family and entertainment. When it comes to making the important decisions in the new millennium, however, 37 percent of Americans believe that women will make more important decisions and 35 percent think that decision-making will be shared equally between both sexes.

Highlights of MSN Sidewalk Survey

How Are People Getting Their Information?

Recent Microsoft Corp. research shows that 74 percent of online consumers use the Internet to research products and services. According to MSN Sidewalk Business Manager Matt Kursh, after e-mail and news, research is what consumers use the Web for most.
“But let’s face it, researching a spending decision on the Web can be frustrating and time-consuming, and often involves visits to too many sites. MSN Sidewalk, now available nationwide, is the ultimate online guide to help consumers make better decisions about how to spend their time and money.”

Who Do Consumers Rely On?

When it comes to making decisions, Americans are overwhelmingly self-reliant. In fact, almost half of Americans surveyed selected themselves as the person in the household who has the most influence when making key decisions. It’s not surprising then that consumers are using the Internet to take charge of the information gathering process themselves. Those polled also thought that the Internet will play an increasingly important role in the future. Looking ahead to the new millennium, 62 percent of consumers believe their own use of the Internet will increase.

Single Online Source for Great Decisions

By combining innovative technology tools with editorial insights, MSN Sidewalk enables consumers to get information, expert advice and buying tips on a broad range of products and services. Whether they are planning to buy a new camcorder or a set of golf clubs, or hoping to find a nearby pediatrician or a plumber who works on Sundays, MSN Sidewalk allows users to get information in one place online.
“That’s why the Web is so great,”
Kursh said.
“You can get as little or as much information as you want.”
In addition to the new Buyer’s Guide and Yellow Pages, consumers nationwide can still use the MSN Sidewalk arts and entertainment guide to make great decisions about what to do in their limited free time.

MSN Sidewalk is free on the World Wide Web (connect-time charges may apply) at and is a featured offering on The Microsoft Network at . MSN is the network of Internet products and services from Microsoft that

helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. 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. MSN Sidewalk has been integrated into the MSN Network of Internet services, which makes it easier for consumers to keep in touch, stay informed and get more done.

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 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.

The MSN Sidewalk Decision-Making Process Survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. International from Sept. 17, 1998, to Sept. 20, 1998, and included interviews with a representative sample of 1,014 adults living in the continental United States. Survey findings have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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