Microsoft ClearLead Platform Empowers Real Estate Brokers To Build Lifetime Customers

REDMOND, Wash, Feb. 23, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that its ClearLead™ lead management platform will power the Realty Desktop, a new service that will enable real estate brokers and agents to turn Web-generated leads into lifetime customers. Realty Desktop will leverage the power of the Internet, offering automated tools to help real estate brokers deliver a high standard of service and maximize profits to grow their business. Through ClearLead, the real estate industry will benefit from Microsoft’s commitment to software and services as part of the Next Generation Windows® Services initiative.

By utilizing the innovative ClearLead Web-based platform, Realty Desktop simplifies the real estate transaction from beginning to end, delivering a single, integrated solution for customer acquisition, customer retention, task and transaction management, and home ownership services. The ClearLead service enables real estate brokers to quickly and easily respond to and manage the real-time inquiries of their Internet and offline customers, while reducing acquisition costs and creating a new way to monetize Web leads.

“The open architecture of ClearLead allows any developer or IT professional to build a customized lead management solution for a specific industry, from automotive dealers to real estate brokers. This makes it easier for companies to do a better job of meeting the customer service expectations of today’s Internet customers while maximizing their profits and growing their business,”
said Alex Simons, product unit manager for ClearLead at Microsoft.
“By building on top of the ClearLead lead management megaservice, Realty Desktop makes it easier for brokers to focus on the most important aspect of the real estate transaction – their customers.”

With Realty Desktop, ClearLead continues to expand its vertical implementations, emerging as an essential Internet service for managing Web-based leads and building customer relationships. Last month, Microsoft announced that ClearLead would power the lead management system for the MSN™ CarPoint™ online automotive service. Through a new version of DealerPoint, ClearLead will provide automotive dealers using CarPoint with a platform that will help them communicate effectively with online car buyers as well as enable them to easily manage their Internet sales, respond to more customer inquiries in less time and cut average per-car selling costs.

VerticalNet Inc., a leading portfolio of business-to-business trading communities, will incorporate the ClearLead platform in its vertical markets to help small and medium-sized businesses better manage customers online. In the coming months, additional businesses and industries will be announced as well as a small business offering on the Microsoft bCentral TM small-business portal. More information about ClearLead is available at .

About ClearLead and Microsoft

ClearLead is a Web-based Internet lead management platform that helps businesses build lifetime customers through the flexibility, ease of use and power of the Internet. ClearLead ( ) gives any business the ability to deliver world-class customer service through an easy-to-implement Web solution.

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.

The information contained in this document relates to a prerelease software product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software product when first commercially released. This document is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this document or the information contained in it.

Microsoft, ClearLead, Windows, MSN, CarPoint and bCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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