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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.

Microsoft Corp. and Clear Channel Radio today announced at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 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’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, Global Positioning System navigation devices and small home appliances.

The expansion of MSN Direct to HD Radio is part of Microsoft’s Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative. 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 alliance 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 Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) business group at Microsoft. “Clear Channel Radio has demonstrated its commitment to the aggressive rollout 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 its ability to turn personal objects into mobile tools with this impressive platform,” said Jeff Littlejohn, executive vice president of Distribution and Development for Clear Channel Radio. “Combining Microsoft’s existing technology and customer service background with Clear Channel’s exceptional HD Radio delivery platform will provide customers with a world class data service.”

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MSN, High Def, Clear Channel, MSN Direct, HD Radio

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