MSN Expedia Reports Record Sales and Growth for 1998

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 5, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that its leading MSN
online travel service grew by more than 150 percent from 1997 to 1998, surpassing industry projections for year-over-year growth among online travel services. In addition, MSN Expedia topped off its 1998 performance with a record-breaking $8.5 million week, the highest reported weekly sales in the online travel industry.

“The relationships of MSN Expedia with customers, travel suppliers and distribution sites have been the key to our success in ’98,”
said Simon Breakwell, MSN Expedia group product manager.
“We believe our performance is testament to the fact that our focus on ease of use, great technology and top-notch customer service is a winning formula.”

1998 Performance

MSN Expedia ended the year with more than $250 million in travel sales, a growth of more than 150 percent over 1997. The year-over-year growth of MSN Expedia surpassed the most aggressive projections for the online travel industry from 1997-98:

  • Forrester Research 100 percent growth, from $1.4 billion to $3 billion

  • Jupiter Communications 130 percent growth, from $911 million to $2.1 billion

MSN Expedia attributes its explosive growth to increased consumer confidence in buying travel on Expedia because of the ease of use, access to low fares and round-the-clock customer service. Recognition that MSN Expedia received throughout 1998 attests to its appeal to consumers:

  • FamilyPC, Best Travel Site

  • PC Magazine, top 100 Web sites listing (five consecutive times)

  • Yahoo! Internet Life, Best Online Travel Network

Other highlights in 1998 for MSN Expedia range from improving customer service to building broader relationships:

  • The Expedia Travel Network, introduced to expand consumers’ travel options to packages, cruises, resorts and more, grew to more than 30 vendors, whose deals are easily accessed directly from the Expedia home page.

  • One of the industry’s most comprehensive credit card guarantees protects consumers’ credit cards for 12 months from unauthorized charges online or offline once the credit card has been used to book or reserve travel on Expedia. Customers liability will be covered up to $50.

  • Expedia announced agreements with InfoSeek, TravelWeb, GeoCities and Barnes & Noble, among others, to provide users of those services with quick and easy access to MSN Expedia.

  • A new design for MSN Expedia provides integration with the entire MSN network of Internet services.

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 $8.5 million.

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 and Expedia 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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