Microsoft and youknowbest Announce Strategic Alliance Based on Microsoft .NET

REDMOND, WASH., AND CELEBRATION, FLA. SEPT. 10, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. and Inc., a Web commerce services provider, today announced a strategic alliance to integrate Microsoft®
.NET technologies into youknowbest’s universal shopping list. As the first step on the road to .NET, youknowbest will implement Microsoft’s Passport, which allows consumers to use single sign-in registration across multiple Web properties. Additionally, the companies will integrate new “HailStorm” services, such as notifications, as they are made available.

“youknowbest understands the importance of having a user-centric vision of commerce on the Web and is building a set of services that will take advantage of the Microsoft .NET platform,” said Bob Muglia, group vice president of the .NET Services Group at Microsoft. “youknowbest has developed some compelling commerce technology that will take advantage of the work we have done with .NET.”

“HailStorm” is a code name for a set of user-centric XML Web services that will enable developers to build solutions that work seamlessly with one another over the Internet to deliver a more personalized and consistent user experience. The youknowbest universal shopping list is a single list of every item a consumer is considering for purchase or has already purchased from any online store. Because of the list’s integration with “HailStorm,” youknowbest will be able to provide a streamlined online buying experience for consumers, including personalized communication from product dealers and manufacturers.

“Microsoft’s .NET architecture and services are key in enabling the next generation of Web applications for consumers and businesses,” said youknowbest CEO Robert Wight. “It is these kinds of standards that enable independent software vendors to develop great user software with less development time spent on the building blocks.”

The alliance calls for cooperation initially focusing on incorporating .NET technologies into youknowbest’s service offerings for manufacturers and consumers. The alliance also calls for the companies to work together on the deployment of future “HailStorm” services.

.NET Benefits

Microsoft .NET, Microsoft’s XML-based Web services platform, will benefit both businesses and end-users. For businesses, it changes the way they build software and sell products, making information technology a significant contributor to corporate success and introducing new business models. For end users, .NET will produce unparalleled access to a dramatically more personal, integrated computing experience. XML Web services are constructed using XML for data exchange to help applications, services and devices work together. Sharing data through XML allows Web services to be independent of each other while simultaneously giving them the ability to loosely link themselves into a collaborative group that performs a particular task.

About youknowbest Inc. ( ) produces commerce services that help manufacturers of hardware, software, consumer goods and product-related services more effectively sell their products online. The youknowbest services link manufacturers and their end customers together, making it easy for customers to select, save and purchase products from the manufacturers’ dealers. Founded in 1999, youknowbest is privately held and based in Celebration, Fla.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

youknowbest and myList are registered trademarks of, Inc. 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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