Microsoft CarPoint and Cobalt, Publisher of, Join Forces

For Release 5 p.m. PDT

September 23, 1997

REDMOND, Wash. -- Sept. 22, 1997 -- Microsoft Corp. and The Cobalt Group Inc. today announced that they have finalized an agreement making Cobalt an authorized dealership service provider for the Microsoft� CarPointTM ( online automotive service Web site. 

Cobalt, the nation's leading supplier of dealer Web sites, will sell Dealer Showcase and Interactive Classifieds marketing services from CarPoint to franchised automotive dealers across the United States. 

"We are very pleased about creating a relationship with an industry leader like The Cobalt Group," said Lindsay Sparks, general manager of the automotive product unit at Microsoft. "Cobalt is one of the pioneers in the development of dealer Web sites and electronic automotive marketing, and we are fortunate that we now have them bringing their expertise to CarPoint dealer marketing services."

Introduced in September, Microsoft's Interactive Classifieds gives automobile dealers a cost-effective way to target qualified used car buyers over the Internet. Over the next 90 days Microsoft and its authorized dealer service providers plan to bring a number of additional Web marketing services to dealers across the United States through Dealer Showcase.

"Cobalt looks forward to bringing the power of CarPoint Interactive Classifieds to car dealers throughout the country," said John Holt, Co-CEO of Cobalt. "Using Cobalt's state-of-the-art inventory systems, we make it easy for dealers to activate their used car inventory on CarPoint."

The Cobalt Group is the nation's premier auto dealer Internet marketing company. As the endorsed dealer Web site provider for six leading automobile manufacturers, Cobalt operates more than 3,000 custom auto dealer Web sites. Cobalt's menu-based Internet system allows dealers to build a strategic, cost-effective Web site that allows them to select from more than 30 features and services. The company's Web site is located at

Microsoft CarPoint is a comprehensive automotive Web site, offering users complete car buying information. First available in August 1996, CarPoint gives users access to detailed auto specifications, reviews from the world's leading automotive writers, detailed pricing information and interactive decision-management tools.

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 CarPoint 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.

For more information, press only:
Geof Barker, Co-CEO Cobalt, (800) 909-8244,
John Holt, Co-CEO Cobalt, (800) 909-8244,
Craig Davison, Shandwick, (425) 452-5459,
Paige Prill, Microsoft, (425) 882-8080,
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