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MSN Direct Goes High Def with Clear Channel.

Companies Collaborate to Deliver Rich Data Services on HD Digital Radio Format to Smarten Everyday Objects

LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft Corp. and Clear Channel Radio today announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2007 that they have executed a collaborative agreement to build a nationwide data delivery service using HD Radio technology, providing personalized and localized content to a variety of HD Radio receivers. This initiative will be branded MSN Direct HD, an extension of Microsoft Corp.'s existing MSN Direct service, which currently transmits a variety of information including traffic, weather, movie times, sports, and stocks to Smart Watches, weather stations, GPS navigation devices and small home appliances. Field tests of the data delivery service will be conducted with the support of iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer and licensor of HD Radio Technology.

The expansion of MSN Direct to HD Radio is part of Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative. Beginning immediately, the companies will introduce opportunities for consumer electronics companies and automotive manufacturers to offer MSN Direct content in HD Digital Radio format on their devices in 2008.

"We are really excited to provide MSN Direct glanceable information in high definition format and also to make it available to a whole new range of devices through HD Radio and our partnership with Clear Channel. MSN Direct is a great fit for the next generation of data capable HD radios," said Eric Lang, general manager of the SPOT initiative at Microsoft. "Clear Channel Radio has demonstrated its commitment to the aggressive roll-out of HD digital radio, and will help further extend the MSN Direct-enabled product category and the realization of our vision of making everyday objects smarter through technology."

Clear Channel Radio is currently offering HD digital radio primary broadcasts on more than 340 of its radio stations across the country of which two thirds are supplying additional audio content via HD Radio multicasting.

"Microsoft's SPOT initiative has illustrated their ability to turn personal objects into mobile tools with this impressive platform," said Jeff Littlejohn, Executive Vice President, Distribution and Development for Clear Channel Radio. "Combining Microsoft's existing technology and customer service background with Clear Channel's unprecedented HD Radio delivery platform will provide customers with a world class data service."

Terms of Clear Channel Radio's relationship with Microsoft were not disclosed.

About MSN Direct

MSN Direct, part of the Smart Personal Objects Technology initiative, is a specialized wireless service that delivers customized and personalized information to people. Those interested in learning more about MSN Direct can visit http://www.msndirect.com . MSN Direct service is available in 100 top metropolitan areas in the United States. Check http://www.msndirect.com/coverage for coverage in your area.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About Clear Channel Radio

Clear Channel Radio is a leading radio company focused on serving local communities across the U.S. with more than 110 million listeners choosing Clear Channel Radio programming each week. The company's content can be heard on AM/FM stations, HD digital radio channels, on the Internet, via iPods, through Motorola's iRadio cell-phone service, and via mobile-navigation devices from Cobra, Garmin, Kenwood, and others. The company's operations include radio broadcasting, syndication, and independent media representation. Clear Channel Radio is a division of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (NYSE:CCU), a leading global media and entertainment company. More information on the company can be found at www.clearchannel.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 8, 2007
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