Microsoft Announces .NET Alerts Preview: Providing Businesses With New and Relevant Ways to Reach Customers

REDMOND, WASH. OCT. 8, 2001 —
Microsoft Corp. today announced the preview of its .NET Alerts Service, which will make it easy for consumers to receive relevant information from Web sites such as auction bid updates, stock quotes, travel changes and bank transaction notifications, based on the customers control and consent. As part of the preview, eBay, MSN® Carpoint™ online automotive service and CNBC on MSN Money have deployed .NET Alerts today and more than 20 companies will begin offering the Microsoft® .NET Alerts Service to their customers in the near future .

“The .NET Alerts Service is an early but tangible example of how Microsoft is delivering on the .NET My Services vision, helping consumers access their information any time, anywhere on any device, and just scratches the surface of the power of Web services,”
said Christopher Payne, vice president of .NET My Services at Microsoft.
“In addition to providing convenience for consumers, .NET Alerts also will jump-start new ways for businesses to serve existing customers and attract new ones.”

eBay, the worlds largest online marketplace, is now live with .NET Alerts and 23 additional companies including Alibre, Bank One Corp., Centerpost Corp., Click Commerce Inc., CNM Network Inc., ComponentSource, E*TRADE Corp., Expedia Inc. (United States and United Kingdom); Groove Networks Inc., Jessops (United Kingdom), Keen Inc., lastminute.com (United Kingdom), McAffe.com Corp., MSN Carpoint, MSN Calendar, CNBC on MSN Money, NASDAQ.com, Tesco (United Kingdom), uBid Inc., QXL.com (United Kingdom), Virgin Entertainment Group, Verisign Inc., and youknowbest.com Inc. announced their adoption and planned deployment of .NET Alerts.

“We are excited to be an early .NET Alerts adopter because it enables eBay to provide an even higher level of service to our members by helping bring buyers and sellers together more quickly and efficiently,”
said Gil Penchina, vice president of business development at eBay, which has already rolled out .NET Alerts to its members in beta.

“Microsofts .NET Alerts is a great Web service for investors, enabling them to track movement in the stocks that they are most interested in, as well as other market moving conditions such as fed rate cuts,”
said John Delta, vice president and general manager of NASDAQ.com.
“Now investors can have the information they want and when they want it across a wide range of devices.”

“.NET Alerts will deliver exactly the kind of service we want to provide to our customers: the ability to use technology when and how they choose to help them manage their finances,”
said Michael Cleary, president of the Consumer Internet Group at Bank One.

All .NET Alerts employ an explicit opt-in model, ensuring the receipt of their customized information is entirely under the users control and discretion. Users are able to choose which companies send .NET Alerts and how those .NET Alerts will reach them. For example, users can choose to have an important .NET Alert sent to their desktop when their Messenger status is Online and have the same alert routed to their cell phone when their Messenger status is Away or Offline. For less important alerts, users may choose to have them delivered only to an e-mail address and for them not to be interrupted. Users can create scenarios where one alert is delivered to multiple devices at the same time all through an easy-to-use interface.

Based on XML (extensible markup language), an open industry standard critical for building Web services, .NET Alerts is the first user-centric Web service of its kind, developed to deliver notifications to consumers using a range of operating systems such as the Microsoft Windows® XP operating system and the Apple Macintosh. Consumers can receive .NET Alerts via any e-mail solution (e.g., AOL mail, MSN, Microsoft Outlook® , IBM-Lotus Notes, MCI Mail) and on any device that currently supports MSN Mobile (e.g., Web-enabled mobile phones and other PDA devices, including alpha pagers, Pocket PCs and Handspring or Palm operating system-based handheld computers).

Key features of the .NET Alerts service include the following:

  • User control. Users receive only the .NET Alerts they have requested via an explicit opt-in model, ensuring they get the information that is relevant to them. Users can choose to limit or expand the set of .NET Alerts they receive, or unsubscribe to an alert at any time

  • Multiple delivery devices. Users can choose the devices on which they want to receive their .NET Alerts on their desktop PCs (as a Messenger-style
    “toast”
    pop-up box accompanied by an audio cue), cell phones, handheld PCs or other devices.

  • Intelligent routing. In addition to choosing which devices will receive their .NET Alerts, users can specify intelligent routing rules that dictate how those alerts are handled. Users can set general routing rules for all .NET Alerts and then create special rules for any specific alerts to which they have subscribed.

  • Privacy and security. To ensure that users have a secure online experience with maximum privacy protection, Microsoft maintains only the minimum information about a users .NET Alerts preferences required to deliver the .NET Alerts experience. Information contained in the .NET Alerts message is encrypted using the secure MD5 protocol. Microsoft does not mine, sell or share any .NET Alerts data.

Business and Site Operators Support .NET Alerts

With more than 20 companies committed to .NET Alerts, businesses and site operations have acknowledged the value .NET Alerts offer as a powerful new communication tool allowing them to reach their customers in new ways that are relevant and actionable. .NET Alerts are deliverable via MSN Messenger to 36 million subscribers and, soon, to millions more via an integrated Windows Messenger in Windows XP, Microsofts next-generation operating system to be launched on Oct. 25, giving businesses and developers a massive audience for their .NET Alerts.

Because a company can use a single back-end process to deliver every .NET Alert, developers need only implement one system to reach the broad range of .NET Alerts clients. Microsoft will further facilitate .NET Alerts development by providing free access to a comprehensive .NET Alerts Developer Edition at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC), Oct. 2226 in Los Angeles. The .NET Alerts Developer Edition will enable developers to migrate smoothly to .NET My Services by building on their initial development of .NET Alerts. The .NET Alerts Developer Edition will be more broadly available by end of year 2001.

More information on .NET Alerts can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/myservices/alerts/ or via e-mail at alerts@microsoft.com . More information on .NET Alerts and .NET My Services will be made available at PDC, http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/pdc/default.asp .

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, MSN, Carpoint, Windows and Outlook 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.

For online information:

Visit the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/ .

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Microsoft .NET Alert Announcement Quote Sheet

“Alibres online mechanical CAD application for manufacturers provides immediate value from .NET Alerts. With Alibre Design, real-time notifications enable members of distributed design and manufacturing teams to be alerted immediately when product designs are accessed or modified. Instantaneous communication is a cornerstone of our Web-centric architecture; .NET Web services enhance our application while freeing us to focus on the real-time 3-D design capabilities that make our product unique.”

J. Paul Grayson
CEO
Alibre

“.NET Alerts will deliver exactly the kind of service we want to provide to our customers: the ability to use technology when and how they choose to help them manage their finances.”

Michael Cleary
President of the Consumer Internet Group
Bank One Corp.

“Microsofts .NET Alerts provide a powerful means of keeping in touch with customers in a way more flexible and appreciated than e-mail. We have no doubt that our customers such as United Airlines will find .Net Alerts to be an important component of Centerposts SmartDelivery Web service.”

Craig Goren
President and CTO
Centerpost Corp.

“Click Commerce has the opportunity to extend its customers reach into distribution networks by leveraging Microsofts .NET Alerts with our leading channel management solution. Our global manufacturing customers will be able to contact suppliers, distributors and end customers at any time, on the device of their choice, ensuring updated product information, faster repairs and warranty claims and reduced costs across the enterprise.”

Michael W. Ferro Jr.
Founder and CEO
Click Commerce

CNM is excited to be working with Microsoft to provide a richer end-user experience of existing applications by converging reliable, secure, real-time voice communications services with power applications such as .NET Alerts. .NET Alerts provides the bridge between the application layer and CNMs advanced communication services. Using CNM and .NET Alerts, users now have access to all their phone calls any time, anywhere, and with any traditional telephony device.

Charles Rice
President and CEO
CNM Network Inc.

“Our global user base of more than a half million corporate developers relies on the immediacy of our online services as they look to find, evaluate, procure and build reusable components to expedite their development efforts and meet deadlines. .NET Alerts will add an extra dimension to our sales support, allowing our customers to specify and receive immediate notification on a variety of community information such as relevant component upgrades, software service packs or the availability of specified new components from our marketplace all on the device of their choice. We plan to offer .NET Alerts to our customers later this quarter.”

Sam Patterson
CEO
ComponentSource

“We are excited to be an early .NET Alerts adopter because it enables eBay to provide an even higher level of service to our members by helping to bring buyers and sellers together more quickly and efficiently.”

Gil Penchina
Vice President of Business Development
eBay

“E*TRADE is excited to be working closely with Microsoft sharing the vision of secure, any time, anywhere access to information delivered via the .NET platform. .NET Alerts underscores E*TRADEs commitment to customers by personalizing their online financial experience, delivering relevant, actionable data directly to them, when they want it.”

Josh Levine
Chief Global Technology Officer
E*TRADE Corp.

“Providing .NET Alerts content with information on flight schedules to consumers wherever they may be will be a tremendous benefit to travelers. Whether they have access to their computer or their wireless mobile device, travelers will be able to get the information they want wherever they want.”

Suzi LeVine
Director of Product Marketing
Expedia Inc.

“As the provider of a rich client collaboration environment, we see tremendous opportunity for .NET Alerts to enhance people-to-people interaction, any time, any place, on any device. .NET Alerts represents one of the first, tangible examples of how our customers can integrate center-based Web services, and edge-based peer services to improve and accelerate decision-making. Many people are focused on how .NET Alerts can accelerate the delivery of information; we believe this .NET service can be applied to bringing the right people together, with the right information, to get things done.”

Jack Ozzie
Vice President of Developer Services
Groove Networks Inc.

“People have an emotional attachment to their photographs; businesses depend on them to project their image, so the services side of photography has always been of the utmost importance. I can see customers greatly benefiting from receiving an alert when their pictures are ready, when decisions need to be made and when short-term offers are available. This opens up countless opportunities for the customer.”

Tim Brookes
Chairman
Jessops

“We see tremendous potential for the .NET platform to help Keen deliver an even better, more personalized service to our customers, while helping us drive additional revenue. Keen already delivers customers live, immediate advice, and now with .NET Alerts, we will be able to ensure that they know when their favorite advisor is available any time, anywhere without having to come back to our site every few minutes.”

Karl Jacob
CEO and President
Keen Inc.

“Lastminute.com customers using .NET Alerts will be able to use this Web service to specify what unique offers they want to see at the last minute and will be able to ensure that by using .NET Alerts they never miss out on a unique last-minute offer that best suits their requirements.”

Brent Hoberman
CEO
lastminute.com

“Microsoft is giving us a new and compelling tool to better protect users everywhere from the increasing threat of computer viruses. With .NET Alerts, McAfee customers can request that we notify them immediately about when they need protection from newly discovered threats, and they can ask us to reach them at home, at work, at school or on the road. Users will be able to click on the Alerts to go instantly to our Web site to get the information and protection they need. By providing Web Services that we and our customers can easily use, Microsoft is enabling McAfee to delight our customers and to focus our resources on what we do best providing superb anti-virus protection.”

Doug Cavit
CIO
McAffee.com Corp.

“By providing real-time traffic information for 68 metropolitan areas via .NET Alerts, MSN Carpoint is able to extend its position as the most comprehensive online automotive buying and owning service on the Internet. As a core component of Carpoints new My Car service, .NET Alerts provides the highly personalized daily automotive information our consumers have been asking for and allows Carpoint to continue to build best-of-breed services built on Microsoft technologies.”

Ryan Hamlin
General Manager
MSN Carpoint

“.NET Alerts enable us to keep consumers informed of information affecting their finances whether theyre in line at the DMV or surfing the Web on their home computer. That type of immediate interaction is vital when it comes to money management, and with .NET Alerts consumers have the power to make more timely investment decisions in todays economy.”

Chris Jolley
Director of Marketing
CNBC on MSN Money

“Microsofts .NET Alerts is a great Web service for investors, enabling them to track movement in the stocks that they are most interested, as well as other market moving conditions such as fed rate cuts. Now investors can have the information they want and when they want it across a wide range of devices.”

John Delta
Vice President and General Manager
NASDAQ.com

“The compelling and often frenetic nature of QXLs high-volume marketplace depends on keeping buyers and sellers constantly aware of the status of their auctions. Microsofts .NET Alerts Service, combined with e-mail and short message service, will provide a ubiquity of service to our 3 million members across multiple devices and locations, enabling buyers to snap up bargains immediately wherever they are and sellers to sell more faster. Everyone wins.”

Jim Rose
CEO
QXL.com


Were excited to adopt the .NET Alerts program as it complements our existing tools and makes shopping at uBid even easier. With .NET Alerts, our users will be able to request the information

they want and need, such as when a specific item is up for auction or when theyve been out bid, and receive this and other data quickly and seamlessly. By providing services that our customers can easily use, Microsoft is enabling uBid to continue to improve our customers experience.

Alan Cohen
Senior Vice President of Marketing
UBid Inc.

“The ability to offer increased value to those customers for whom Virgins higher service standards are a real differentiator is unprecedented. We now have the opportunity to keep in touch with our most loyal customers via the .NET Alerts Service. .NET Alerts will allow Virgin to communicate to our most valued customers instantly and of course based on their consent.”

Anthony Deen
Vice President of Retail Development
Virgin Entertainment Group

“Microsofts .NET architecture and services are key in enabling the next generation of Web applications for consumers and businesses. It is exciting new Web services such as .NET Alerts that enable independent software vendors to develop richer user experience software with less development time spent on the building blocks.”

Robert Wight
CEO
youknowbest.com

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