REDMOND, Wash. — May 15, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that AMBER Alerts provided through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®’s (NCMEC) AMBER Alert Secondary Distribution system will soon be offered through MSN® Alerts, which are distributed to users via MSN Mobile, MSN Hotmail®, Windows Live™ Mail, MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. Technology developed by Avanade and in partnership with Digonex Technologies Inc. will give millions of consumers in the U.S. using MSN and Windows Live access to timely bulletins of the most serious child-abduction cases.
“The first three hours after a child is abducted are critical to that child’s safer recovery,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. “Adding MSN as an AMBER Alert Secondary Distributor will allow us to get information about abducted children out to more people who can be on the lookout for that abducted child and suspect. This is an excellent example of technology being used to support the AMBER Alert program, which has to date led to the successful recovery of more than 260 children.”
The AMBER Alert plan, named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, is a program in which law enforcement agencies, broadcasters and transportation authorities immediately distribute urgent information about recent child abductions to the public. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly mobilize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.
“Microsoft’s commitment to safety and security in computing extends to doing all we can to help protect our communities,” said Ryan Hamlin, general manager in the Technology Care and Safety Group at Microsoft. “Taking advantage of the broad reach of MSN’s communication services for the distribution of AMBER Alerts is a very important facet in our continued investment in the well-being of children. We’re very proud to be able to join forces with NCMEC to enhance the extraordinary work that they do to help protect children across the nation through the AMBER Alert program.”
Each partner has a distinct role in helping deliver the AMBER Alerts to customers. Avanade, in conjunction with Digonex, is driving the technical integration of the AMBER Alerts service with the MSN Alerts service. Digonex will also be providing the ongoing hosting environment for the alerts.
“The work of NCMEC in searching for missing and abducted children is a very important cause,” said Jan Eglen, Ph.D., CEO of Digonex Technologies, and a licensed psychologist. “We are glad to see Microsoft contribute to this effort and believe its participation and broad consumer base can help save the life of a child.”
“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with Microsoft to provide this integrated service,” said Joe Mendel, general manager of Avanade. “We believe in the mission of NCMEC. Having another broad and instant communication mechanism for AMBER Alerts can help to make our communities safer.”
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which serves as a national clearinghouse for information and a resource for child protection. It works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC’s congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 387,800 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 119,800 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 102,200 children. For more information about NCMEC, please visit www.missingkids.com or call 1-800-THE-LOST.
As part of the PROTECT Act of 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was appointed as the agency responsible for coordinating AMBER Alert programs on the national level. DOJ officially partnered with NCMEC, authorizing them as the agent that coordinates and disseminates AMBER Alerts to secondary distributors.
Avanade is the leading technology integrator specializing in the Microsoft® enterprise platform. Our people help customers around the world maximize their IT investment and create comprehensive solutions that drive business results. Additional information can be found at www.avanade.com.
Digonex Technologies focuses on development of automated and optimized pricing platforms for e-commerce, allowing client companies to increase customer retention and maximize revenue. Additionally Digonex has developed Nabit, a desktop eBay application. For more information, visit Digonex Technologies website at www.digonex.com Nabit information and downloads are available at www.getnabit.com.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. 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 “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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