MSN Expedia Expands Distribution Through Exclusive Agreements With GeoCities and Salon Magazine

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 3, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that MSN
will offer more ways for customers to access its travel-booking service through distribution deals with GeoCities ( ) and Salon Magazine ( ). As part of the agreements, each of the two Web sites will feature MSN Expedia as its exclusive online travel service, giving the sites the full travel-service capabilities of MSN Expedia ( ). GeoCities and Salon Magazine will offer their customers access to a co-branded version of the travel-booking engine in Expedia directly from within their respective sites, making it easier for their visitors to book travel online.

“The new distributions with GeoCities and Salon Magazine offer travel seekers terrific flexibility online by putting our travel services at their doorstep,”
said Simon Breakwell, group manager, travel business unit at Microsoft.
“Now, visitors to these Web sites have quick access to the travel services of MSN Expedia. These deals are great wins in our effort to help people get things done on the Web.”

The specifics of each deal include the following:

  • GeoCities customers can click on Travel Avenue on the GeoCities home page to plan, reserve and purchase travel. The deal makes Expedia the exclusive travel provider on one of the Web’s five most-visited sites. GeoCities recently signed a similar deal with the MSN HomeAdvisor
    online real estate service.

  • Readers of Salon Magazine’s popular Wanderlust Travel section will have one-click access to the MSN Expedia online travel-booking service. Salon and its highly popular chat forums provide visitors the opportunity to share opinions on entertainment, travel, literature and more.

The agreements will increase the exposure of MSN Expedia and are expected to direct additional traffic to the site.

“At GeoCities our 2.7 million members have built more than 22 million pages of content, attracting over 1.2 billion page views each month,”
said Thomas R. Evans, president and CEO of GeoCities.
“To keep our members and visitors coming back, we are constantly working to provide them with value-added content and services. In that spirit, we are pleased to offer our users the MSN Expedia full-service online travel agency within the GeoCities environment. We’ll be providing our consumers with the finest travel solutions available.”

“Currently our Wanderlust section attracts a very high-end, loyal travel audience,”
said Liza Parker, vice president of advertising at Salon Magazine.
“Our relationship with MSN Expedia allows Wanderlust readers to research destinations and book travel without ever leaving their keyboards. Wanderlust’s tales provide the inspiration; Expedia provides the fulfillment. It’s a terrific offering.”

GeoCities and Salon Magazine join existing Expedia Associates Program members American Express Co., CondeNast’s Epicurious Travel, Infoseek Corp., Wired’s Hotbot, MSNBC, InfoSpace Inc., National Car Rental and more.

The Expedia Associates Program provides participating members’ Web sites with
co-branded travel-booking services, equipping these sites with the full functionality of features and services of MSN Expedia. Purchases made on MSN Expedia from EAP-member sites are protected by the extensive credit card guarantee service from MSN Expedia. With this service, customers’ credit cards are protected from liability from unauthorized charges for up to $50 (U.S.) on any purchases made anywhere – online or offline – in the subsequent 12 months. In addition, customers have around-the-clock telephone access to the more than 150 customer service agents for MSN Expedia.

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. Part of the MSN network of Internet services, 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 weekly travel sales exceeding $7 million.

About GeoCities

Based in Santa Monica, Calif., GeoCities ( ) is the world’s largest and one of the fastest growing communities of personal Web sites on the Internet. Homesteaders have created an estimated 22 million pages of personalized content. In August 1998 the GeoCities Web site generated more than 1.2 billion page views according to Nielsen I/PRO, and in September 1998 the site attracted over 16.9 million unique visitors, according to Media Metrix. GeoCities was the fifth-most-trafficked Web site on the Internet in September 1998, according to Media Metrix.

About Salon

Salon Magazine is a daily, original-content Web magazine that gives distinctive commentators a forum to voice their opinions on entertainment, literature, parenting, politics, technology, travel and more. Salon Magazine is also host to Table Talk, its online discussion community, rated by ForumOne as the second-most-trafficked forum on the Web. Salon

Magazine is located at (the America Online keyword is
“Salon Magazine”

About Microsoft

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 and HomeAdvisor 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.

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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