TORONTO, July 12, 2004 — Today at its Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Corp. introduced Windows®
Marketplace, an upcoming shopping and downloading site that will provide customers with one-stop access to software, hardware and peripherals that work with the Windows platform. This new offering provides a cost-effective way for participating partners to work with Microsoft and CNET Networks to gain exposure to millions of potential customers through online shopping and electronic software distribution — all in one place. Windows Marketplace also will make it easy for customers to navigate, find, try and buy thousands of compelling products to meet their needs and enhance their Windows computing experience. Windows Marketplace is scheduled to launch to end-user customers in the United States this fall, but Microsoft is giving partners an early opportunity to get their products into the Marketplace before it becomes available publicly.
“Windows Marketplace is a significant opportunity for partners to get connected to the millions of Windows customers. We are optimizing the site for customers to enable them to discover and experience the full breadth and depth of the Windows ecosystem,” said Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows Client Business at Microsoft. “Windows Marketplace is made richer by working with trusted partners, like CNET, to deliver the rich information Windows customers need.”
CNET Networks is expected to provide Windows Marketplace pricing and product information for over 100,000 hardware, software and peripherals products. CNET’s network of merchants numbers in the hundreds and includes major players such as Dell Inc., hpshopping.com, IBM Corp., Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc., IbuyDigital.com Inc., Sony Electronics Inc., BUY.COM Inc., Best Buy Company Inc., Circuit City Stores Inc. and TigerDirect Inc. CNET Download.com ( http://www.download.com/ ), one of the Web’s leading electronic software libraries offering trialware and shareware, is expected to provide approximately 20,000 downloadable software products that support Windows.
“This is a great opportunity for CNET Networks to work with Microsoft to better serve our shared software developer and merchant customers by increasing the visibility of their Windows-compatible products before target consumer audiences,” said Barry Briggs, chief operating officer of CNET Networks. “CNET Networks’ comprehensive array of market solutions is able to give Windows Marketplace the necessary resources to power this important project.”
Partners, Customers Reap Marketplace Benefits
Partners will benefit from Windows Marketplace in numerous ways. The site will be accessible from the Windows XP Start Menu and Microsoft®
Internet Explorer as well as many other Microsoft and partner Web sites. In addition, the intuitive taxonomy and advanced search functionality will help millions of customers easily find partner products. Windows Marketplace also will offer increased insight into what customers are saying about partners’ products through community features such as ratings, reviews and moderated discussion groups.
“Windows Marketplace will serve as a unique new sales channel for Business Objects products, specifically our Crystal Reports®
line of reporting products,” said Ken Bero, vice president of channel sales at Business Objects. “Our business intelligence solutions help companies of all sizes improve performance, and this portal offers Business Objects and our reseller partners an easy way to increase the exposure of our Windows-compatible products to a broader audience.”
“Infragistics is excited to be part of the upcoming Windows Marketplace,” said Dean Guida, CEO of Infragistics, a publisher of developer tools for the Microsoft .NET Framework. “It will give customers an easy way to discover products, learn about them and then purchase them from trusted online merchants.”
Partner products that bear the Designed for Windows logo gain added distinction and exposure through a special search filter. The logo indicates that these products have gone through a series of Microsoft test suites and fully support the Windows platform. Customer research shows that the Designed for Windows logo has a strong, positive effect on the intent to purchase. Microsoft is dedicated to educating customers about the value of products that have met Microsoft quality standards.
Partners Can Sign Up Today
All manufacturing partners that want to participate in Windows Marketplace must meet the following product requirements:
Software, hardware and peripherals must work with Windows, fit within specified product categories, as outlined below, and be available for sale and purchase through an online retail channel.
Downloadable software must be Windows-compatible and easily uninstalled, among other requirements.
Partners that have packaged software, hardware or peripherals that work with Windows and whose products are distributed through the network of CNET merchants will be automatically fed into Windows Marketplace. Partners that are not currently signed up with CNET can sign up as a merchant or contact CNET to get their merchant signed up. Partners that have products which are licensed with the Designed for Windows logo are automatically fed into Windows Marketplace. Partners should visit http://www.microsoft.com/partner/windowsmarketplace/ for additional information and participation instructions.
There are two main product categories:
Software. Business and Productivity, Communication, Development Tools, Enterprise Solutions, Graphics and Publishing, Home and Education, Music and Video, Networking, PC Games, Security, Tax and Finances, Utilities
Hardware. Components, Desktops and Servers, Digital Cameras and Video, Fax Machines, Input Devices, Mobile Devices, Monitors, Multifunctional Machines, Networking, Notebooks and Tablets, Portable Media Players, Printers, Projectors, Scanners, Storage
About Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference
Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the Worldwide Partner Conference is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference/ .
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