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Microsoft MSN To Sell Subsidiary

February 16, 2001

SEATTLE (AP) _ Microsoft Corp.’s online unit, Microsoft MSN, plans to sell the mortgage software subsidiary of its Home Advisor Technologies venture.

Microsoft spokeswoman Beth Jordan said the company is confident it will find a buyer, and hoped that the approximately 80 people employed in Gig Harbor, near Tacoma, would be able to keep their jobs with a new owner.

Home Advisor is Microsoft’s site for buying, selling and improving homes. Microsoft officials said the mortgage product, which was touted as a way for home buyers to save money by applying for mortgages online, no longer fits in with Microsoft MSN’s business plan.

Microsoft’s latest business strategy, outlined by chief executive Steve Ballmer, is to focus on core businesses. For Microsoft MSN, Jordan said the chief priority is a ``Web lifestyle experience.″

``We want to start to really focus in on consumer experience and technologies that get them there,″ she said.

The company will continue to operate two other divisions of its Home Advisor venture, which focus more on real estate and related services. Home Advisor is a joint venture with J.P. Morgan and others.

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On the Net:

www.homeadvisor.com

www.msn.com

www.microsoft.com

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