April 5, 2006

Award-winning news site MSNBC.com announced that it has joined forces with Action Engine® Corporation to launch a beta mobile news service featuring an advertising business model. Unlike paid subscription services, the beta launch of MSNBC.com Mobile is provided free of charge to consumers by incorporating video and banner advertisements within the service. The service gives consumers access to MSNBC.com news, videos, and pictures using their wireless device. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Embedded Devices Division is the exclusive advertising sponsor for the launch of this new service.

MSNBC.com, Action Engine and Microsoft collaborated on consumer research to better understand the mobile experience, the concept of shifting mobile costs from consumers to advertisers, and the potential scenarios for mobile advertising. With this beta launch, the companies will solicit consumer feedback to discover and deliver a rewarding consumer experience. In addition to ongoing consumer monitoring, MSNBC.com and Action Engine will gauge interest from advertisers and wireless operators to determine the ideal business model.

“As one of the most successful news sites in the world, it’s critical that we are available to consumers wherever they may be. The goal of this program is to deliver the MSNBC.com experience without penalizing consumers with yet another subscription fee,” said Catherine Captain, vice president of marketing for MSNBC.com. “The consumer research we collect from this beta launch will give us valuable insight on how to effectively migrate advertising-supported content from computer to mobile device.”

Consumers who join the beta MSNBC.com Mobile program can use the free service to read top headlines, watch news videos, save news articles for later viewing, and view photos. Key features of the service include the ability to:

-           Read news articles including Top Headlines, US News, Business News, World

News, Entertainment News, Sports News, Tech/Science News, and Health News

-           Watch Headline and Business News videos

-           Watch popular slideshows such as “The Week in Pictures”

-           View video from “The Today Show” and other NBC News properties

-           Save news articles in a folder for later offline viewing

Consumers can get the service by visiting http://gomobile.MSNBC.com and following the instructions for download. The service requires consumers to have a data plan with their mobile operators and an Internet-enabled device. For the beta launch, the service will run on an initial set of Windows Mobile powered devices with support for additional devices, including Java and BREW powered devices, to follow post-launch. A complete list of currently supported devices can be found on the download page.

MSNBC.com Mobile was created using technology from mobile application platform company, Action Engine Corporation. Services built using the patented Action Engine Mobile Application Platform™ allow consumers to search for and discover mobile Internet content like news, videos, and sports scores without having to suffer through painful typing on a tiny device keypad and frequent between-click connection delays.

“We designed MSNBC.com Mobile with the wireless consumer in mind, letting them search for news and information offline with as few keystrokes as possible,” said Scott G. Silk, president and CEO of Action Engine. “By combining our award-winning user experience technology with our leading-edge mobile advertising engine, we can now offer companies like MSNBC.com a new way to monetize their mobile services, while encouraging consumer adoption.”

“We worked closely with MSNBC.com to create an advertising program that is not only a strategic fit for Windows Mobile, but also delivers on Microsoft’s goal of driving innovation and learning in the mobile space,” said Stacy Malone, vice president and interactive media director at Universal McCann, Microsoft’s media agency. “Collaborating with MSNBC.com and Action Engine on this program allows us to deliver the Windows Mobile message in a new, breakthrough way and to better understand how to advertise in the mobile medium most effectively.”

Visit the Microsoft booth #1000 or the Action Engine booth #4212 for a demonstration of MSNBC.com Mobile at CTIA Wireless 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 5-7th, 2006.

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