Microsoft Signs Agreement With LookSmart to Provide MSN With Web Directory Content
Redmond, WA, Feb. 9, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today announced it has named LookSmartSM, the Internet's leading category-based Web directory, as the primary provider of Web directory content for the MSN(TM) network of Internet services. The licensing agreement will help strengthen the search and navigation features offered by MSN. Since integrating its Internet services into one consolidated network last year, MSN has increased its reach from 31 percent to approximately 40 percent of all U.S. Internet users, making MSN one of the fastest-growing portals. LookSmart, the second-largest privately held Web property and a leading Web directory, has also experienced rapid growth. Page views have increased from 150,000 per day a year ago to more than 8 million per day.
The two companies have signed a five-year agreement whereby LookSmart's directory, which organizes extensive site listings into a wide variety of categories through a rigorous editorial process, will be integrated into MSN Search. LookSmart's team of 125 professional Web editors will update the listings continually, so the content offerings will be kept current and constantly expanded.
"We recognize that searching the Web is one of the top reasons for people to come to MSN, and we were especially impressed with LookSmart's comprehensive directory and high-quality editorial content," said Laura Jennings, vice president of MSN. "Within a few months, users of MSN will be able to take advantage of LookSmart's robust Web directory database to quickly and accurately pinpoint the Web destinations that deliver what they're looking for."
LookSmart's directory of Web content is organized into a variety of popular categories, such as Home & Family, Travel & Vacations, and Reference & Education. Because content is filtered by LookSmart's professional Web editors, it does not contain any links to adult content. This reflects LookSmart's focus on serving its growing mainstream audience.
"Quite simply, we're focused on creating a great editorial product that will make the Internet easier for consumers to use in their daily lives, whether they want to find information quickly or explore the Web," said Evan Thornley, co-founder and CEO of LookSmart. "The Web is only as useful as our ability to access and navigate it, and we're elated to team with world-class companies such as Microsoft to help make it a more practical tool for consumers."
Microsoft also recently announced an agreement to license AltaVista Search as the primary Web search engine for the MSN network of Internet services. This gives users of MSN access to the largest search index on the Web in any of 25 languages.
"The AltaVista and LookSmart agreements provide further evidence of Microsoft's commitment to working with leading product and service companies to deliver the best possible experience on MSN," Jennings said. "The combination of LookSmart's extensive directory content with AltaVista's robust search technology adds up to a powerful search experience for the user of MSN."
LookSmart, the second-largest privately held Web property, creates and maintains the largest editorially reviewed directory of content on the World Wide Web. LookSmart's directory is distributed through multiple channels, including a global network of Internet service providers, major Web sites, portals and "viral" marketing. Through its partnership with Cox Interactive Media, LookSmart also offers the largest collection of high-quality local Web content in more than 65 U.S. markets. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and can be contacted at (415) 597-4850. To see why more and more partners, advertisers and consumers are turning to LookSmart, visit http://www.looksmart.com/.
About MSN and Microsoft
MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what's important to them. The MSN network of services, located on the Web at MSN.COM (http://msn.com/), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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