MSN Sidewalk Launches Local Entertainment Guide in Chicago

CHICAGO, Nov. 17, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the addition of a local Chicago entertainment guide available on MSN® Sidewalk® on the World Wide Web at . MSN Sidewalk is an online guide designed to help consumers nationwide make better decisions about how to spend their time and money. With the launch of the in-depth entertainment guide, Chicago residents will have no more excuses for going to the same restaurant again, missing the one concert they wanted to see, or enduring another evening of takeout and TV reruns while a city full of entertainment options awaits.

The addition of the entertainment guide helps expand the scope of decisions MSN Sidewalk can help consumers make with confidence. Chicagoans can now get access to personalized information on arts and entertainment as well as 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 martini bar or a plumber who works on Sundays.

In Chicago, there are nearly 7,000 restaurants, more than 200 theaters, miles of lakefront beaches and parks, and numerous clubs and bars, as well as world-class galleries and museums.
“Yet people in Chicago are working longer hours and paying the price when it comes to having time for their social lives,”
said Leslie Osborn, general manager of MSN Sidewalk Chicago.

Research by MSN Sidewalk shows that people have less free time and more entertainment options than ever. At the end of a long workday or workweek, many residents find it challenging to sort through the array of entertainment options.
“The Sidewalk entertainment guide is designed to be a virtual entertainment advisor, matching users’ tastes and interests with the best Chicago has to offer,”
Osborn said.

“MSN Sidewalk fits users’ busy lifestyles by helping them make better decisions about what to buy and what to do,”
said Stephen Cvengros, executive producer of MSN Sidewalk Chicago.
“The site lets users customize the information so it’s easy to find activities that suit their interests and products that are right for them.”

The MSN Sidewalk Chicago entertainment guide covers everything from concerts and movies to restaurants and sporting events, with previews, reviews and personalized event recommendations about what’s happening in Chicago.

“We even go one step further to make sure users don’t miss upcoming events they care about most,”
Cvengros said.
“MSN Sidewalk Chicago tracks users’ favorite events and performers, alerting them by e-mail while there’s still time to get tickets.”

The MSN Sidewalk Chicago entertainment guide features up-to-date information in the following areas:

  • Movies. Previews and reviews of what’s playing at local movie houses, whether independent films or the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Highlights about local film festivals and theaters also are available.

  • Restaurant reviews. Residents can find restaurants by type of cuisine, neighborhood, price and quality, and get such insider tips as good places to take kids or places that serve drinks in the ladies’ restroom.

  • Events calendar. Through the thousands of weekly listings on Sidewalk, users can discover street festivals, community events, live music and gallery openings – before they happen.

  • Arts and music. Readers will get the latest information about who’s playing where and when, with editors’ picks on what’s worth seeing and what’s not. Sidewalk provides the word on concerts, clubs, live theater, lectures, museums, exhibits and shows.

  • Places to go. Chicago is packed with places to go and things to see, for all ages. From Navy Pier to the North Shore, Sidewalk gives users an array of options to fit any budget and any time frame. To get away from it all, Day Trips and Weekend Getaways provides great destinations outside of the city.

  • Sports and recreation. Sidewalk has picked Chicago’s best indoor and outdoor sporting activities, including batting cages, bike trails and beaches. It also offers all the details on how to get tickets for the Bulls, Cubs and Bears games as well as other major sporting events.

In addition, the MSN Sidewalk Buyer’s Guides and Yellow Pages provide Chicagoans with the tools they need to make great everyday decisions about what to buy and where to buy it:

  • Buyer’s Guides. Designed to help consumers zero in on the information they want, Buyer’s Guides offer detailed, helpful information and advice on a wide variety of products and services:

  • Home electronics. Camcorders, CD players, televisions, stereos and more

  • Home appliances and home maintenance . Dishwashers, ovens, clothes dryers, contractors and more

  • Recreation equipment. Skis, ski boots, snowboards and more

  • Professional services. Attorneys, plumbers, doctors and more

  • Gift ideas. For brides, cooks, new home owners and everyone else on a user’s shopping list

  • Yellow Pages. This comprehensive national business directory includes phone numbers, addresses and quick facts to help consumers search for businesses and services in their area. MSN Sidewalk Chicago lets users search for services near their home or work and print out a map to help get them there. It also provides more detailed information on thousands of local businesses to help consumers search for specific information on store hours, brands, parking and delivery. MSN Sidewalk Chicago includes comprehensive information on local businesses as well as a directory of online retailers.

  • Your Favorites. This feature is like a personal notebook in which users can save useful pages, business listings or search results for businesses, products and services. On any page, users can click on the Add to My Favorites icon, and a link to that page will be added to Your Favorites.

MSN Sidewalk Chicago has teamed with local companies to provide personalized entertainment content. Participating companies include Evergreen Publications, Roots & Wings and Windy City Sports. Distribution and marketing partners include the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, Chicago Sport and Social Club, Crain’s Chicago Business, InterAccess Co. (Chicagoland’s Internet access provider), WMAQ-TV, WCKG-FM and WSCR-AM.

MSN Sidewalk, recently made available nationwide, is an online guide that helps consumers make better decisions about how to spend their time and money. Previously available in nine U.S. cities and Sydney, Australia, 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 every day. MSN Sidewalk helps consumers find products that meet their individual needs, compare products side by side, find a store near them or plan a night on the town.

MSN Sidewalk is free on the World Wide Web (connect-time charges may apply) at and is a featured offering on MSN 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 Corp. (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, Sidewalk and MSN 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’re interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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