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Microsoft Announces Wireless Service Plans For Smart Watches Available This Fall
MSN Direct Provides Information People Want, When They Want It, at the Flick of a Wrist
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
"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
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 "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.
* Some offer restrictions may apply. Visit http://www.direct.msn.com/ for
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.
Microsoft, MSN 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.