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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Looks to Portals for Promotion

Microsoft Corp. said that its new HomeAdvisor channel will be promoted on a number of major Web sites to mark its official launch today.

The software giant announced it signed an advertising agreement with Yahoo! Inc. in a bid to extend its user reach via the highly-trafficked site. HomeAdvisor will be advertised on Yahoo!'s finance and real estate sections. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In addition, Microsoft said it signed distribution agreements with Infoseek, Lycos-owned WhoWhere? and Tripod, Switchboard, Pathfinder, Big Yellow, GTE InterNet and DoubleClick. Other sites that will feature HomeAdvisor promotions include U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and Worth magazine, among others.

As expected, Microsoft said it will heavily promote HomeAdvisor as its exclusive home-buying channel on microsoft.com, hotmail.com, msn.com and across The Microsoft Network.

HomeAdvisor, which previewed in early July, features charter lenders, real estate brokers and data providers such as Principal Residential Mortgage, HomeSide Lending Inc., American Finance, Coldwell Banker Realty Pros Ltd., and Douglas Elliman.

In addition, Microsoft noted that Home Advisor will debut content from LoanWorks this week, a full-service online mortgage lender based in Irvine, CA.

While Microsoft hopes for HomeAdvisor run high, it faces stiff competition on a number of fronts from rivals such as GetSmart, HomeShark, E-Loan, and Intuit/AOL in the increasingly crowded online real estate arena. Yahoo! remains a notable interactive real estate services competitor with its own channel, Yahoo! Real Estate, which launched in June.

"We are very excited to have secured this many far-reaching marketing agreements at this stage in our product's history," said Ian Morris, lead product manager for HomeAdvisor. "Wide-scale distribution dramatically increases the visibility and reach of real estate listings and loan offerings on HomeAdvisor, giving our information providers exactly the type of exposure they are looking for on the Internet."



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