REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 11, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. and RadioShack, the retail operating format of Tandy Corp., today announced a strategic alliance that should accelerate the adoption of Web technologies and consumer connections to the Internet as Microsoft and RadioShack team together to acquire new customers. Under the five-year agreement, the companies will establish a Microsoft
“store within a store”
in as many as 7,000 RadioShack locations across the nation. Customers will be able to see demonstrations of and sign up for MSN TM dial-up or broadband Internet access.
“At Microsoft, our Everyday Web vision allows everyone to participate in the world of online commerce, entertainment and services, whether it’s from a PC, television or mobile device,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
“By forming an alliance with RadioShack, we’re reaching customers in a new way, giving them a unique opportunity to experience and obtain online solutions through RadioShack’s trained salespeople and expert home-installation team. This model for convenient, one-stop shopping will allow us to greatly accelerate America’s conversion to broadband services.”
“We thought we were looking for an ISP partner, but what we found was much, much more,”
said Leonard Roberts, chairman, president and CEO of Tandy/RadioShack.
“We actually found a home connectivity partner, offering not just services but innovative technologies as well. Microsoft gains a trusted, knowledgeable sales force — 25,000 strong — that will be able to demonstrate the best Internet experience available. And customers gain end-to-end connectivity solutions from Microsoft and RadioShack — brands Americans trust to make technology accessible and understandable.”
In addition, as part of the alliance, Microsoft will make a $100 million equity investment in the newly launched RadioShack.com, to help build it into a leading e-commerce site. The online store will have premier placement across all of MSN and its properties, including the newly launched MSN eShop online shopping service. The agreement will extend RadioShack’s goal of becoming America’s Home Connectivity Store and will deliver a key pillar of Microsoft’s vision for the Everyday Web, enabling millions of Americans who shop at RadioShack to be connected any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft Presence at RadioShack — A
Store Within a Store
The purpose of the alliance is to accelerate the adoption rate of narrowband and broadband Internet access using Microsoft® products and services, as well as those from Microsoft partners, available at RadioShack stores nationwide. Accordingly, Microsoft will join RadioShack’s other strategic partners who have also set up a
inside RadioShack. This retail presence, as well as the presence of Microsoft products and services in other sections of the RadioShack store, will showcase a broad range of solutions and services based on Microsoft technologies, including MSN Internet Access, Microsoft WebTV Network TM services, Windows® CE-based handheld devices, MSN mobile solutions and Microsoft home networking. Customers can sign up for narrowband or broadband MSN Internet service and will have access to a version of MSN co-branded with RadioShack.
The design of the Microsoft retail store at RadioShack will begin immediately. An aggressive rollout of the new
“store within a store”
concept is scheduled to begin during the third quarter of 2000 in RadioShack’s network of 5,000 company-owned stores and up to 2,000 more RadioShack dealers. Microsoft’s store is the latest in a series of similar joint alliances by RadioShack, including the RCA Digital Entertainment Center at RadioShack, the Compaq Creative Learning Center and the Sprint Store at RadioShack.
Microsoft and RadioShack Plan Joint Efforts in Marketing, Infrastructure Enhancement
Both companies will make substantial contributions to joint marketing efforts over the life of the agreement, beginning with a jointly funded consumer marketing launch late next year. Microsoft will also fund the initial store fixturing, in addition to planned updates to the Microsoft
“store within a store”
at up to 7,000 RadioShack locations.
Microsoft, in conjunction with NorthPoint Communications Inc., which has relationships with both companies, has also agreed to provide broadband access to all RadioShack company-owned stores at no cost. About half of the stores are expected to use digital subscriber line (DSL) services from NorthPoint, with Microsoft arranging for the remaining high-speed connections.
Alliance to Further RadioShack’s Home Connectivity Strategy
The Microsoft alliance further enhances RadioShack’s plan to become America’s Home Connectivity Store. RadioShack expects to take a leadership position in connecting America’s homes and small offices to state-of-the-art digital audio and video products and services, the latest computer advances, and high-bandwidth technology. The strategy is designed to enable RadioShack to deliver new and emerging technologies, including instant Internet access, video teleconferencing, multiple fax/phone connections and on-demand services, to those who want a single-source solution and personal, knowledgeable help.
RadioShack is rapidly developing the capabilities, through its acquisition of AmeriLink Corp., to install and set up — right in a customer’s home or small office — any of the consumer electronics and connectivity solutions customers purchase in the store or online. AmeriLink is one of America’s leading installers of cable, telephony and high-bandwidth products.
Investment in RadioShack.com to Help Create E-Commerce Powerhouse
Microsoft’s investment in RadioShack.com represents a major commitment to establishing RadioShack as the premier merchant of electronic goods and services on the Internet. The investment will involve building a more powerful infrastructure for the site based on Microsoft e-commerce technologies – the same technologies that power such leading consumer sites as Monster.com, 1800Flowers.com and SmarterKids.com. Microsoft and RadioShack will work together to implement further enhancements, creating a full-featured online store where RadioShack’s loyal customers can go for a wide range of consumer electronics products, parts and services.
RadioShack will be a major advertiser on the MSN network of Internet services and will occupy one of the premier positions on the MSN eShop online shopping service site ( http://eshop.MSN.com/ ). Through its presence on eShop, RadioShack.com will be able to take advantage of the portal leadership of MSN to reach a broad audience of customers on the Internet. In addition, RadioShack.com will adopt the Microsoft Passport electronic
service, adding to the growing number of e-commerce businesses that recognize the customer and business value of automated authentication and wallet technology.
Deal Makes Everyday Web a Reality
Until now, using the Internet as an everyday tool has been difficult for consumers. Slow, narrowband connections leave consumers frustrated; little information has been readily available about faster, broadband connections; and consumers who aren’t already connected are often at a loss as to where to turn for information about getting connected. With this alliance, Microsoft’s connectivity solutions will be five minutes away for approximately 94 percent of U.S. households and businesses, making it easier than ever for consumers to get connected and see the benefits of the Everyday Web – in particular, the difference broadband makes.
RadioShack, the retail-operating format of Tandy Corp. (NYSE
), is the nation’s largest consumer electronics chain and one of the most trusted electronics retailers in the United States. With more than 7,000 stores and dealers, RadioShack sells more wireless telephones, telecommunications products, and electronics parts and accessories than any other retailer. To locate the nearest RadioShack store or dealer, customers can call toll-free 1-800-THE-SHACK or visit the RadioShack Web site at http://www.radioshack.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.
Statements made in this press release that are forward-looking involve risks and uncertainties. These uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions, product demand, competitive products and pricing, availability of products and services, the regulatory environment, and other risks indicated in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission such as Tandy’s and Microsoft’s most recent Form 10-K and 10-Q.
Microsoft, MSN, WebTV Network and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
RadioShack is a registered service mark of Tandy Corp.
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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. For more information on RadioShack, please visit the company information page on the RadioShack Web page at http://www.radioshack.com .