MSN Announces Agreement to Incorporate RealNames

REDMOND, Wash., June 28, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a two-year licensing and marketing agreement with Centraal Corp. for incorporating the RealNames TM Web addressing and navigation service into MSN TM Search, which is part of ( ), and AutoSearch, a feature of the Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 browser software. As a result, consumers using MSN Search will be able to more easily find the information, brands and companies they are looking for on the Web. Microsoft will also market and sell RealNames subscriptions through MSN LinkExchange, a leading provider of online services to small businesses to help them increase their online traffic and sales. The RealNames service will be integrated into MSN Search in the third quarter of 1999.

“RealNames is great for MSN consumers and advertisers alike,”
said Rob Bennett, group product manager for the Consumer and Commerce Group at Microsoft.
“MSN advertisers can now extend the power of their brands online using product names and advertising slogans, while consumers will be able to use familiar names instead of complex URLs to quickly locate exactly what they are looking for.”

“The commitment by MSN to creating a better experience for consumers and helping MSN advertisers increase visibility on the Web is what makes this agreement attractive to us,”
said Keith Teare, president and chief executive officer at Centraal.
“With over 200 million URLs, the RealNames service is a major step in making it easier for consumers to navigate the Web and for businesses to leverage their brands online using common language.”

Benefits to MSN Consumers and Advertisers

The RealNames service enables companies to map their existing trademarks, brands and company names to Web resources, resulting in the following benefits for consumers and businesses:

  • Easy-to-find companies, products and services. Consumers can more easily find what they’re looking for online by simply remembering the company or brand name. RealNames will appear as the prominent results on MSN Search pages.

  • Relevant information. When consumers enter a RealName into the address bar of Internet Explorer 5, the AutoSearch feature will automatically navigate them to the relevant Web pages. This eliminates the process of digging through several layers of a Web site, making searches and surfing more efficient, while helping support promotional activities.

  • Effective online and offline ad campaigns. By using simple, easy-to-remember brand names, words or slogans, businesses can enhance the effectiveness of their online and offline advertising campaigns through capturing consumer interest and traffic.

About Centraal Formed in 1997 and privately held, Centraal provides a Web address naming solution to its customers and partners and an intuitive navigation system for Internet users. Centraal is venture-backed by idealab! capital partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Network Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq
), Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE
) and Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. – all leaders in the Internet industry or venture capital. Centraal is located in San Carlos, Calif. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at . For more information on RealNames, go to or call Centraal Sales at (888) 869-9946 or (650) 298-8080.

About MSN

MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at ( ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; 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.

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 and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

RealNames, RealNames service, RNS and Centraal are trademarks of Centraal Corp.

The RealNames System is a patent pending technology.

Other trademarks and registered trademarks are the properties 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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