REDMOND, Wash., June 4, 2003 — As part of its Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled MSN®
Direct, a specialized new wireless service that combines technology with fashion to deliver customized information to a new category of watches. MSN Direct enables customers to conveniently and discreetly receive the information that matters most to them, at a glance and for an affordable price.
Watches with MSN Direct service will be available at major retail outlets this fall from leading watch manufacturers Fossil Inc. and Suunto. These
“smart” watches, first unveiled by Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show, will serve as a stylish and unique information source for people who want to be in the know while they are on the go — with just a quick glance at the wrist. Customers subscribing to MSN Direct service will be able to stay informed about news, weather, sports scores, stock quotes, movies, dining, games and more. They also will be able to receive personal messages via MSN Messenger and calendar appointment reminders from Microsoft® Outlook®
The MSN Direct service will be available in more than 100 of the largest population centers in North America, representing cities in all 50 states and the largest cities in Canada.
Customers will be able to choose from two pricing options: a monthly subscription rate of $9.95 (U.S.) per month with the first month free, or, as an introductory offer, an annual payment of $59 (U.S.) for a full year of service.*
“Priced at $100 to $300 for the watch, and an additional $9.95 per month or $59 per year for the service, watches with MSN Direct will find a devoted following with affluent early adopters,”
said Forrester analyst Charlene Li, in her report titled
“SPOT Watches: Money Well Spent for Better Time.”
“Watches with MSN Direct service offer an entirely new way for people to stay up to date and informed about the information they care about,”
said Roger Gulrajani, director for the Smart Personal Objects Technology Group at Microsoft.
“With Fossil and Suunto, we have created watches that deliver information with fashion and flair — an important attribute for an accessory people wear every day.”
“Enabling consumers with anytime, anywhere access to information is an important part of the MSN vision,”
said Anthony Rodio, director at MSN.
“MSN Direct is a great extension of the MSN brand, providing consumers with another opportunity to get closer to the information that matters most to them.”
About MSN Direct
MSN Direct, part of the SPOT initiative, is a new, specialized wireless service that combines technology and fashion to deliver customized and personalized information to people. Those interested in learning more about MSN Direct can visit http://www.direct.msn.com/ .
MSN attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .
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.
* Some offer restrictions may apply. Visit http://www.direct.msn.com/ for complete details.
The information contained in this press release relates to a prerelease software product which 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. The press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.
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