SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp.'s MSN CarPoint online car-buying service today maynounce an alliance with a major manufacturer, probably Ford Motor Co., industry sources said Friday.
Microsoft President Steve Ballmer may make an announcement at a media event in San Francisco regarding CarPoint and a major auto manufacturer, a Microsoft spokeswoman said. She declined to discuss the nature of the alliance or identify the manufacturer, but one industry source said it was Ford. Ford representatives declined to comment.
Ballmer caused a stir this month when he was quoted as saying Microsoft might sell all or part of CarPoint. The company later said it was committed to keeping CarPoint as a core part of its MSN Internet portal site, and the Microsoft spokeswoman said no sale or spinoff was imminent.
Computer industry analysts also said a major structural change was unlikely to be announced today with Microsoft's new Internet group chief Richard Belluzzo scheduled to outline his strategy to reporters at a briefing in Seattle on Thursday.