Smart Watches For MSN Direct Ship To Retail

Smart Watches and MSN Direct service, part of Microsoft’s Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative, allow people to conveniently and discreetly receive the information that matters most tothem, with just the flick of a wrist. Smart Watches, manufactured by Fossil Inc. and Suunto, utilize MSN Direct to receive personalized content including news, weather, personal messages, calendarappointment reminders and stock quotes. The watches also feature multiple watch faces and automatic time-zone adjustment based on location. People can personalize their watch through an interactiveWeb site (http://www.msndirect.com/) where they choose the specific information and services they want to receive. The MSNDirect service is now available in more than 100 of the largest population centers in the United States and Canada.    “Smart Watches with MSN Direct are a fun new way to receive theinformation you care about delivered conveniently to your wrist,” said Bill Mitchell, founder and vice president of the SPOT initiative at Microsoft. “Our relationship with world-class watchmanufacturers such as Fossil and Suunto, as well as a broad spectrum of retailers and content providers, has made this tremendous achievement possible.”    “Smart Watches with MSN Directare an amazing product,” said Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director for Jupiter Research in his analyst Web log. “They exemplify the power technology has to transform alreadyuseful objects into objects that are smarter and more valuable to people. There was clearly a lot of thought put into the design and functionality of these watches.”   MSN Direct will providepersonalized information from leading content partners, including CBC/Radio-Canada, CinemaSource, Citysearch.com, Comstock Inc, Encarta, ESPN, MSNBC, MSN Astrology, TeleAtlas North America,weather.com®, and The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com. In addition, subscribers to MSN Direct service can receive personal messages via MSN Messenger and calendar appointment reminders fromMicrosoft® Outlook®.   Customers can choose from two MSN Direct pricing options: a monthly subscription rate of $9.95 (U.S.) per month with the first month free or an annual payment of $59(U.S.) for a full year of service.* Information about retail availability and service options for Smart Watches with MSN Direct can be found at http://www.msndirect.com/.    “Fossil is proud to work with Microsoft to give people the latest information in a stylish and glanceable format,” said MichaelBarnes, president, International and Special Markets Division of Fossil. “We are excited to be shipping four different watch styles to stores around the nation and look forward to bringing even moreproducts to market leveraging the MSN Direct service.”    “Suunto, the brand sports enthusiasts have long trusted to deliver key performance data during exercise and sport, now offers theSuunto n3, a unit that delivers an easy way for active people to keep informed and up to date with customizable information for their whole life,” said Dan Colliander, president of Suunto. “We areproud to partner with Microsoft to offer a new line of sports wristops that will be indispensable not only to active sports players but also to a wider market of people who want timely informationdelivered on a fashionable and functional device.”   Smart Watches are available for purchase at Amazon.com and at manufacturers’ Web sites. They will soon be in major retail channels, includingCircuit City, CompUSA, Fry’s, RadioShack.com, Federated Department Stores including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Galyan’s and MicroCenter.   “I believe the launch of Smart Watches forMSN Direct is a significant step in the merging of fashion and technology in an exciting new way,” said Terry Lundgren, CEO of Federated Department Stores Inc. “Federated Department Stores is pleasedto be part of the launch with Microsoft and its watch partners.”

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