MSN Carpoint Creates Single Largest Online Consumer Automotive Network Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash. April 1, 2002 MSN® Carpoint® service today announced the expansion of international consumer auto sites into 19 markets and 11 languages, making it the worlds largest network of automotive buying and ownership services. This aggressive international initiative includes the launch of 15 sites in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region in just 10 months.

The rapid international growth of Carpoint, the exclusive autos channel on MSN, is supported by its adoption of Microsoft® .NET technologies, its global presence on the MSN network, and its seven years of delivering comprehensive automotive content and services to consumers.

MSN Carpoint now has Web sites live in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as a European gateway site. In addition to local single-language sites, there are three markets that have bilingual sites: Belgium (Dutch and French), Canada (English and French) and Switzerland (French and German).

“As a result of our continued growth, there are absolutely no other automotive sites that can match the international market presence of MSN Carpoint,”
said Ryan Hamlin, CEO of MSN Carpoint.
“Were excited to provide our marketing partners with the unique ability to reach consumers globally with our comprehensive content and services.”

MSN Carpoint uses .NET technology to provide a broad range of personalized car-buying, research and ownership Web services. More than 4 million consumers are registered on MSN Carpoint for ownership services, such as My Car, a feature that allows consumers to register their vehicle online and receive local traffic alerts, gas prices, driving directions, service reminders, recall notices, service discounts, repair estimates and local dealer information. The site also takes advantage of .NET Alert functionality, providing consumers with the ability to integrate with wireless devices and MSN Messenger Service to receive real-time traffic, gas price and navigation information.

Carpoint benefits from the global presence of MSN in 34 markets and 18 languages, reaching 270 million unique monthly visitors, and will continue to expand as an integral part of the MSN network. The global reach of MSN Carpoint exceeded 10.6 million consumers in January 2002 during its fifth annual sponsorship of the North American International Auto Show. It also serves as the official consumer site for auto shows all over the world, including shows in Canada, Geneva and Paris.

Carpoint uses its relationship with MSN to integrate its marketing relationships globally across multiple properties, including MSN Money and HomeAdvisor™
online home and real estate buying guide. The MSN Carpoint strategy includes localizing site features to meet consumer demand on a market-by-market basis.

“Our research indicates that online consumer needs vary from market to market,”
said John Brewer, managing director of MSN Carpoint in Europe.

We have successfully achieved a consistent international presence, while tailoring sites to meet the needs of consumers. This approach has enabled us to create online marketing solutions for leading European automotive

companies such as Volkswagen AG, Renault Group, Fiat S.p.A., Pirelli S.p.A. and MG Rover Group Ltd. These deals with MSN Carpoint complement established commercial relationships with the North American, Japanese and Australian automotive industries.

About Carpoint

Launched in October 1995, MSN Carpoint ( is the largest global network of online automotive services. From product reviews and surround video features to new- and used-car pricing, MSN Carpoint helps consumers find the car they love, at a price they can afford. With details on more than 10,000 car models and 100,000 used vehicles, visitors can research and compare cars of virtually every make and model, identify local dealers, and receive instructions for post-purchase service and maintenance. MSN Carpoint has a network of more than 5,000 affiliated dealers nationwide and is exclusively endorsed by the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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 and HomeAdvisor 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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